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+100 points in 1,5 months - advice?

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+100 points in 1,5 months - advice?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2019, 02:32
Hi guys,

So I was planning to apply for CEMS MIM next year, but something changed and I decided to try to apply this year. One of the schools that I want to apply to, WU Wien, has applications deadline on the 8th of January, which only leaves me with around 5-6 weeks to prepare. They require a min GMAT score of 600, but I aim higher for better chances, at least 650.

A few days ago I took the first GMAC prep test without any preparation and scored 550 (Q32, V34, IR7).

Quant is my weakest point, I was never really good at maths and haven't dealt with it at all since like 2015. So I need advice on how to approach it, to cover the fundamentals and every type of problem I could face on GMAT. I guess I need to invest up to 80% of preparation time in improving quant. Verbal is ok, not that bad I guess, and I finished it with more than 20 minutes left on the timer. Apparently 7/11 mistakes I did were in SC. But still would like to go through all types of questions.

IR section was actually really fun and entertaining for me, while also the only one where I ran out of time (2 or 3 last questions I answered randomly coz didn't have time to read the articles). I didn't really have troubles with it and as the score is fine, I don't think I should be investing much time in it (unless there are some special strategies or tricky questions that I should keep in mind, please lmk).

Didn't practice AWA, will follow chineseburned's guide for that.

I should be able to invest around 20 hours per week on studies to end up with around 120 hours of preparation. I was previously thinking to order the complete set of 10 MGMAT books but now that one will take 2 weeks to be delivered and I definitely don't have time to go through them all. I can order MGMAT Quantitative Strategy Guide Set from 2014 (5 books) or MGMAT All the Quant (2019) and have it delivered within a week. Which one would be a better option? MGMAT All the Verbal (2019) can also be here within a week, as well as OG 2020 Bundle. Would those be the best resources to study? I was also thinking to order the PowerScore Critical Reasoning Bible, but now that I don't have enough time to go through everything as I was planning before, I'm a bit lost with what would be the best strategy.

I'm thinking to take a CAT every second week for now to track the changes, and maybe a few more of them closer to the date.
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New post 20 Nov 2019, 05:52
Snusilda wrote:
Hi guys,

So I was planning to apply for CEMS MIM next year, but something changed and I decided to try to apply this year. One of the schools that I want to apply to, WU Wien, has applications deadline on the 8th of January, which only leaves me with around 5-6 weeks to prepare. They require a min GMAT score of 600, but I aim higher for better chances, at least 650.

A few days ago I took the first GMAC prep test without any preparation and scored 550 (Q32, V34, IR7).

Quant is my weakest point, I was never really good at maths and haven't dealt with it at all since like 2015. So I need advice on how to approach it, to cover the fundamentals and every type of problem I could face on GMAT. I guess I need to invest up to 80% of preparation time in improving quant. Verbal is ok, not that bad I guess, and I finished it with more than 20 minutes left on the timer. Apparently 7/11 mistakes I did were in SC. But still would like to go through all types of questions.

IR section was actually really fun and entertaining for me, while also the only one where I ran out of time (2 or 3 last questions I answered randomly coz didn't have time to read the articles). I didn't really have troubles with it and as the score is fine, I don't think I should be investing much time in it (unless there are some special strategies or tricky questions that I should keep in mind, please lmk).

Didn't practice AWA, will follow chineseburned's guide for that.

I should be able to invest around 20 hours per week on studies to end up with around 120 hours of preparation. I was previously thinking to order the complete set of 10 MGMAT books but now that one will take 2 weeks to be delivered and I definitely don't have time to go through them all. I can order MGMAT Quantitative Strategy Guide Set from 2014 (5 books) or MGMAT All the Quant (2019) and have it delivered within a week. Which one would be a better option? MGMAT All the Verbal (2019) can also be here within a week, as well as OG 2020 Bundle. Would those be the best resources to study? I was also thinking to order the PowerScore Critical Reasoning Bible, but now that I don't have enough time to go through everything as I was planning before, I'm a bit lost with what would be the best strategy.

I'm thinking to take a CAT every second week for now to track the changes, and maybe a few more of them closer to the date.



Hi Snusilda,

Welcome to GMATCLUB! For Quant You can try out the TTP course as it is phenomenal and covers the entire syllabus really well. Plus it has great reviews on GMATCLUB. I must add that if you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in Quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them.

If you are looking for a good course in verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase Official GMAT questions from mba.com for some great additional practice.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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New post 20 Nov 2019, 11:03
Snusilda - There's no shortcut or magic button to a 100 points increase in 1.5 months. You are using all the right materials. That said, a 550 score does show that your concepts are not clear; the Q32 is worrying. I would recommend that you enroll in an online quant course to improve your quant score. The good news is that improving the quant score is a lot easier than improving the verbal score, in a given amount of time.
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New post 20 Nov 2019, 21:26
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Hi Snusilda,

To start, 550 is a solid initial CAT score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years). Raising this score to a 600+ in the timeframe that you've defined is an absolutely achievable goal (raising it to a 650+ would likely require at least 2 months of consistent, guided study though; depending on how efficiently you can learn and practice the proper Tactics, you might be able to get to this level in 6 weeks though).

For free math practice and help, I recommend that you set up an account at Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org). The site is completely free and makes the learning a bit more fun and 'game-like' (as opposed to the dry academic approach taken by most books). While the site is vast, you should limit your studies to basic Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry. You could either start off with Khan Academy or integrate it into your general GMAT studies and hone your general math skills while you're also honing your GMAT skills.

Before I can offer you any additional advice for your studies, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) When you say that Wu Wien requires a minimum GMAT Score of 600, does that mean that if you score 600 then you will automatically get in (or the a 600+ the minimum Score needed just to apply?)? Are there any later application Rounds after January 8th?
2) What other Schools are you planning to apply to and what are their application deadlines?

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 04:31
DisciplinedPrep wrote:
There's no shortcut or magic button to a 100 points increase in 1.5 months. You are using all the right materials. That said, a 550 score does show that your concepts are not clear; the Q32 is worrying. I would recommend that you enroll in an online quant course to improve your quant score. The good news is that improving the quant score is a lot easier than improving the verbal score, in a given amount of time.


Thanks! Yes, I just wanted to make sure if those books are the best to use. And yes - my maths concepts are far behind, as I said it's been a long time since I had to deal with mathematics, and never been good at it in general :)
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New post 21 Nov 2019, 04:43
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Snusilda,

To start, 550 is a solid initial CAT score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years). Raising this score to a 600+ in the timeframe that you've defined is an absolutely achievable goal (raising it to a 650+ would likely require at least 2 months of consistent, guided study though; depending on how efficiently you can learn and practice the proper Tactics, you might be able to get to this level in 6 weeks though).

For free math practice and help, I recommend that you set up an account at Khan Academy. The site is completely free and makes the learning a bit more fun and 'game-like' (as opposed to the dry academic approach taken by most books). While the site is vast, you should limit your studies to basic Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry. You could either start off with Khan Academy or integrate it into your general GMAT studies and hone your general math skills while you're also honing your GMAT skills.

Before I can offer you any additional advice for your studies, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) When you say that Wu Wien requires a minimum GMAT Score of 600, does that mean that if you score 600 then you will automatically get in (or the a 600+ the minimum Score needed just to apply?)? Are there any later application Rounds after January 8th?
2) What other Schools are you planning to apply to and what are their application deadlines?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Thank you for your reply and advice! I will definitely check the Khan Academy.

Actually, I just found out that I won't be able to apply to WU Wien this year as one of my language certificates is too old to be accepted, and I don't have time to get a new one until then. But yeah, January 8th was the last deadline for applications (for the CEMS MIM program).

My other option is University of Cologne, the deadlines there are in March. But now that I also need to get the language certificate, I'm not sure I will be able to do it even until then. I will still try to prepare for GMAT as much as I can to get it to the reasonable score, and if I will see improvements I can try to go for it in January. I live in a country with no GMAT test centers but for Christmas I'm going to my homeland and I can try there, if I will feel like it makes sense until then. Otherwise I'll just go back to my initial plan and go for it in summer, so I will have a lot of time to prepare until then.
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New post 21 Nov 2019, 04:57
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You can get a score of 600+ by making sure you do not make silly mistakes. These mistakes are avoidable but require practice and alertness to avoid on actual test.

You can also improve by familiarizing yourself with the different question types in each subtopic. These subtopics are listed in the official guides. Official questions are the best sources for preparation. This is especially true for verbal.

You have to be very strategic in your preparation since you have limited time. Focus on subtopics, weak areas, improving accuracy, regular checking with official guides. I do not recommend that you waste time with many third-party mocks. Do a few but not many.

It is more important that you learn rather than test yourself in timed setting. Pay attention to maintaining accuracy. This will help to boost your score. Do not tire yourself and remember to take breaks.

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 05:39
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Hey,
For your quant improvement I honestly suggest don't buy any material. Here in GMAT club, you will get all question of each preparation providing companies.I suggest don't waste your money to purchase course. Try to solve 600, 700 level questions of GMAT CLUB TEST and others like eGMAT, MGMAT, Veritas. and solve around 200 600+ questions. definitely you will get 45-37 in actual exam. Take Gmat club tests .'

Good Luck friend.
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New post 21 Nov 2019, 15:10
Hi Snusilda,

From what you describe, you are no longer facing any immediate application deadlines, so you can approach this phase of your studies however you choose (and your 'backup' plan will allow you to focus on individual areas of the Exam - as needed - later on). As such, I suggest that you study with whichever books you choose for the next 2 weeks, then take a new, FULL-LENGTH CAT. Make sure to take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss the results and any adjustments that you might make to your studies.

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Re: +100 points in 1,5 months - advice?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 10:09
Hi Snusilda,

550 as an initial diagnostic is a very solid starting point. Regarding how to improve your quant score, since you scored Q32, it’s clear that you need to follow a study plan that allows you to learn GMAT quant from the ground up. In other words, follow a study plan that allows you to learn each GMAT quant topic individually and the practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. Let me expand on this idea further.


For example, if you are learning about Number Properties, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant courses.

You also may find it helpful to read this article about How To Increase Your GMAT Quant Score.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: +100 points in 1,5 months - advice?   [#permalink] 22 Nov 2019, 10:09
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