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# 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated :

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2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2011, 18:43
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Hello fellow GMAT clubbers!

So i've currently been studying for the GMAT for about 2months. I've completed the Knewton live course, which I finished in the first week of February, but now i'm kind of not sure of where to go next in regards to my prep. My Knewton diagnostic Cat score was a dismal 410, which was not encouraging whatsoever given the fact that about 6 months prior I was scoring around 600 on the MBA GMAT tests.

A quick break down of Knewton Diagnostic: Jan 5, 201: 410 (Q22/V25).

A few weeks later (February 13, 2011) I wrote another Knetwon CAT and scored a 470 (Q32/V24). This was after completing a majority of the homework and going to all the live classes as well. I haven't been using any other supplements to study, as I found that the amount of homework given and the duration of the classes took up soo much time that I didn't have enough time to do anything else.

Anyways I finished the course on March 1, but I know I wasn't nearly ready for the actual GMAT yet, and from that point on I wasn't sure where to go from there. I felt that I needed more guidance and a structured format to go through the material again. The Knewton course kind of felt a little overwhelming for me, and I feel I didn't absorb as much as I hoped given the rushed feeling I got. This is not to say that Knewton was bad, the teachers were absolutely amazing actually in regards to explaining concepts and pointing out different perspectives with which one can look at a question. I wrote about that experience here:

knewton-live-online-gmat-course-85519-160.html

After finishing the course I made the decision to buy the Manhattan GMAT Strategy Guides, all of 8 of them. I still haven't got into them just yet. I figured I would write another Knewton CAT and decide from there where to go.

So on the last Knewton Cat that I wrote yesterday (March 15) I scored a 530 (Q35/V29). I started using timing strategies more on the Quant section, and forced myself to move on after 2min if I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish the question or be able to recall the concept that was being tested. I'm currently still reviewing that last CAT and I noticed that I made quite a few silly mistakes in the Quant section in regards to Arithmetic, or just not reading the question all the way through. In other words the time strain got to me I guess. In regards to the Verbal section, I know I can improve in this section, but I didn't focus on it that much this time around.

So now that I kind of have my bearings what should I do? Go through ALL the Manhattan GMAT books, which I know will take a while, and I plan on writing the GMAT at the end of April sometime. OR should I pick and choose which ones to do ? In addition should I still be going over the Knewton material as well?

Some feed back would be much appreciated guys! I know I can keep improving, that's evident given that my scores have been increasing. I REALLY REALLY WANT TO BEAT THIS THING BADLY, and I think formulating a strategy to do so is the best approach.

P.S reading some of the other stories have been a great encouragement tool as well!

NoObstacles.
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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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17 Mar 2011, 04:56
NoObstacles,

It looks like you're steadily improving on both sections of the test. Since you've already bought the MGMAT guides, my first suggestion would be to diligently go through all of them. Although I see that you're under some time constraints seeing that you want to take the test next month. I would suggest at least going through the Number Properties and Word Translations books for quant. For verbal, I'd say go through their Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning guides. If you're a native english speaker, I wouldn't recommend going through the Reading Comprehension. If you can move your test back, I think that it would be very beneficial to go through all the guides. Good luck!
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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2011, 07:51
Womiwom wrote:
NoObstacles,

It looks like you're steadily improving on both sections of the test. Since you've already bought the MGMAT guides, my first suggestion would be to diligently go through all of them. Although I see that you're under some time constraints seeing that you want to take the test next month. I would suggest at least going through the Number Properties and Word Translations books for quant. For verbal, I'd say go through their Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning guides. If you're a native english speaker, I wouldn't recommend going through the Reading Comprehension. If you can move your test back, I think that it would be very beneficial to go through all the guides. Good luck!

Thanks Womiwom,

I say that I want to be ready by the end of next month but if need be I can push that into May, that's no problem. Realistically I just want to get this over with by the Summer so I can actually enjoy it outside! I don't plan on applying until the 1st round, which tends to be in the fall of 2011. I will start going through the MGMAT guides. In regards to Reading Comp, i'll see what they have to say about it, but I was quite impressed with Knetwon's approach to Reading Comp.

In addition to using the MGAT guides I think I will also use the OG 12 text book, which seems like one of the best ways to apply what I've learned from the MGAT guides, and actually see if I've been absorbing any of the material.

I'm going through my last Knewton CAT right now, and I made soo many silly mistakes that I normally wouldn't make given that I had no time limit. Anyways back to the battle I go.

Thanks Womiwom!
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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2011, 17:49
NoObstacles wrote:
Hello fellow GMAT clubbers!

So i've currently been studying for the GMAT for about 2months. I've completed the Knewton live course, which I finished in the first week of February, but now i'm kind of not sure of where to go next in regards to my prep. My Knewton diagnostic Cat score was a dismal 410, which was not encouraging whatsoever given the fact that about 6 months prior I was scoring around 600 on the MBA GMAT tests.

A quick break down of Knewton Diagnostic: Jan 5, 201: 410 (Q22/V25).

A few weeks later (February 13, 2011) I wrote another Knetwon CAT and scored a 470 (Q32/V24). This was after completing a majority of the homework and going to all the live classes as well. I haven't been using any other supplements to study, as I found that the amount of homework given and the duration of the classes took up soo much time that I didn't have enough time to do anything else.

Anyways I finished the course on March 1, but I know I wasn't nearly ready for the actual GMAT yet, and from that point on I wasn't sure where to go from there. I felt that I needed more guidance and a structured format to go through the material again. The Knewton course kind of felt a little overwhelming for me, and I feel I didn't absorb as much as I hoped given the rushed feeling I got. This is not to say that Knewton was bad, the teachers were absolutely amazing actually in regards to explaining concepts and pointing out different perspectives with which one can look at a question. I wrote about that experience here:

knewton-live-online-gmat-course-85519-160.html

After finishing the course I made the decision to buy the Manhattan GMAT Strategy Guides, all of 8 of them. I still haven't got into them just yet. I figured I would write another Knewton CAT and decide from there where to go.

So on the last Knewton Cat that I wrote yesterday (March 15) I scored a 530 (Q35/V29). I started using timing strategies more on the Quant section, and forced myself to move on after 2min if I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish the question or be able to recall the concept that was being tested. I'm currently still reviewing that last CAT and I noticed that I made quite a few silly mistakes in the Quant section in regards to Arithmetic, or just not reading the question all the way through. In other words the time strain got to me I guess. In regards to the Verbal section, I know I can improve in this section, but I didn't focus on it that much this time around.

So now that I kind of have my bearings what should I do? Go through ALL the Manhattan GMAT books, which I know will take a while, and I plan on writing the GMAT at the end of April sometime. OR should I pick and choose which ones to do ? In addition should I still be going over the Knewton material as well?

Some feed back would be much appreciated guys! I know I can keep improving, that's evident given that my scores have been increasing. I REALLY REALLY WANT TO BEAT THIS THING BADLY, and I think formulating a strategy to do so is the best approach.

P.S reading some of the other stories have been a great encouragement tool as well!

NoObstacles.

So just wanted to post a brief update to my experience. Thus far I have been studying for about 2.5 months, and i'm getting worried that I'm going to burn myself out.

As mentioned above I started going through the MGMAT book series, I'm almost done the first one which is Number properties. Overall I understand the concepts presented. It's taken me almost two weeks to get to the last chapter, and that's with completing all the problem sets and the OG 12 questions listed in it as well. Right now i'm having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, just the sheer amount of information to absorb is insane!

Anyways i'm at that point where it's getting that much hard to crack open the books. I was planning on studying for about 4 hours today, but I could only finish one chapter, which was the Odds/Evens Advanced Section. I'm worried that i'm going to burn my self out again. I say again because my first attempt at the GMAT last year, I studied for about 6 months, and did end up burning myself out unfortunately.

Well right now i'm looking for that extra motivation to keep on trucking!

Just having one of those off days I guess.

The experience continues......

NoObstacles
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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2011, 18:18
Keep at it. Sometimes a day off to relax might be better than forcing an inefficient study session.

Today I couldn't bring myself to study so I watched a movie after work. Hopefully back to the books tomorrow.
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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2011, 18:29
jko wrote:
Keep at it. Sometimes a day off to relax might be better than forcing an inefficient study session.

Today I couldn't bring myself to study so I watched a movie after work. Hopefully back to the books tomorrow.

It's very important to unwind and take a break
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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2011, 08:30
Entwistle wrote:
jko wrote:
Keep at it. Sometimes a day off to relax might be better than forcing an inefficient study session.

Today I couldn't bring myself to study so I watched a movie after work. Hopefully back to the books tomorrow.

It's very important to unwind and take a break

Thanks guys! Tomorrow is another day!

NoObstacles.
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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2011, 09:25
Entwistle wrote:
jko wrote:
Keep at it. Sometimes a day off to relax might be better than forcing an inefficient study session.

Today I couldn't bring myself to study so I watched a movie after work. Hopefully back to the books tomorrow.

It's very important to unwind and take a break

+1 ON THIS, I think you've got quite the road ahead of you if you want to get to 680+, and from where you are right now until the end of april, you might need a bit more time, IMO only , perhaps focusing on weak areas, and areas that are frequently tested on the GMAT can boost your raw scores up substantially, also review those MGMAT books like crazy, they are the BEST source of strategy. Remember to remain calm in your CATs, perhaps you should take a few untimed to gain stamina, and then worry about getting things under 2 minutes??
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Back to the grind, goal 700+

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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2011, 10:44
Wishbone wrote:
Entwistle wrote:
jko wrote:
Keep at it. Sometimes a day off to relax might be better than forcing an inefficient study session.

Today I couldn't bring myself to study so I watched a movie after work. Hopefully back to the books tomorrow.

It's very important to unwind and take a break

+1 ON THIS, I think you've got quite the road ahead of you if you want to get to 680+, and from where you are right now until the end of april, you might need a bit more time, IMO only , perhaps focusing on weak areas, and areas that are frequently tested on the GMAT can boost your raw scores up substantially, also review those MGMAT books like crazy, they are the BEST source of strategy. Remember to remain calm in your CATs, perhaps you should take a few untimed to gain stamina, and then worry about getting things under 2 minutes??

Hey Wishbone,

Thanks for your feedback. I say that I would like to be ready by the end of April, but I am in no rush. That being said given where i'm at right now, it does seem like I will be more prepared by sometime in May. The MGMAT books are a great source, given that I am almost through the Number Properties guide, I can see why so many people think these books are a wealth of knowledge. The Number Properties guide itself has allowed me to attack Quant problems with more confidence because I can re-call from what quant area the question refers to and then use one of the many strategies explained in the text to solve it. I've been through the other books and online courses but the MGMAT guide covers ALL the bases. I just wish that it wasn't so much information! But i've got time on my side.

As for the CATs, yes remaining calm is a huge factor, I definitely agree. I haven't done any un-timed CATs though, just because I feel that that's what the OG 12 questions are for, and I know that if I start answering those under 2 min I should be fine answering the majority of the questions on the CATs under 2 min. But i'll keep your suggestion in mind if the next few CATs don't go as planned.

Anyways thanks again for the feedback, it's always encouraging!

NoObstacles
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30 Mar 2011, 10:48
I actually felt that doing a few untimed CATs calmed me down to the point where even on my first timed CATs I felt that I was going at about the same pace, and this really helped me to clear my mind and think clearly on each problem. Just remember simple things from the guides, like foctoring, distributing, backsolving, etc etc, i mean all the strats are there, it's just how you use them when you need them
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Back to the grind, goal 700+

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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2011, 11:03
Hey Guys,

So I just completed the second guide in the MGMAT text series, and that also included all the advanced sections and all the OG 12 normal and advanced questions. I figured I'd take a CAT to see where i'm at, now I haven't done any verbal stuff for about 3 weeks now, because i've been concentrating on getting through the MGMAT books. I took your advice wishbone and started an untimed MGMAT CAT, but half way through the Quant section I was taken back by the difficulty level of the questions, especially relative to the Knewton Cat's that I took in the past. To me it just re-affirmed that I wasn't quite ready to attack the Quant section. Right now I think the best strategy for me would be to finish the quant series of MGMAT texts and then try doing an MGMAT CAT, or in this case continuing the one that I stopped.

Man, when I realized the difficulty level of some of the questions, it just made me realize how much more I'm going to have to study to get where I want to get. It's long road ahead! I finished taking the Knewton class about a month ago now, and felt pretty good, but I knew I wasnt where I wanted to be, and as such I figured I should take a few steps back before I went a few steps forward, and hence me going through the MGMAT guides now.

Wishbone, did you only start doing your practice CATs after you went through all the MGAT texts? Or did you do something differently?

Also, I get the feeling that I'm going to have to start going back and reviewing the material in the MGMAT texts that I finished already, this way it stays fresh. Does anybody have a strategy to combat this? I.e possibly go over questions that you were having trouble with in the MGMAT texts that you already finished.

Anyways, time to start MGMAT guide #3, Equations, Inequalities, and VICs!
"I'm soo excited" haha.

NoObstacles
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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2011, 08:26
NoObstacles wrote:
Wishbone, did you only start doing your practice CATs after you went through all the MGAT texts? Or did you do something differently?

Also, I get the feeling that I'm going to have to start going back and reviewing the material in the MGMAT texts that I finished already, this way it stays fresh. Does anybody have a strategy to combat this? I.e possibly go over questions that you were having trouble with in the MGMAT texts that you already finished.

Anyways, time to start MGMAT guide #3, Equations, Inequalities, and VICs!
"I'm soo excited" haha.

NoObstacles

What I did was finish all the MGMAT quant books, and I took MGMAT 1 untimed, and only did the Quant section, got Q45, untimed, just to see if I was getting the questions correct, it probably took me 2 hours? Then I stopped CATs, and went to verbal for 3 weeks, at the end of 3 weeks I started CATs from MGMAT untimed, and then moved to the free CATs from Knewton, and Veritas, snd then started timing, but that was just me. Then I worked on weak areas, specifically SC and CR, and some DS stuff, click my profile, and you can see my journey. It's also periodically on the top of the list as I update my story.
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Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated : [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2011, 19:17
Wishbone wrote:
NoObstacles wrote:
Wishbone, did you only start doing your practice CATs after you went through all the MGAT texts? Or did you do something differently?

Also, I get the feeling that I'm going to have to start going back and reviewing the material in the MGMAT texts that I finished already, this way it stays fresh. Does anybody have a strategy to combat this? I.e possibly go over questions that you were having trouble with in the MGMAT texts that you already finished.

Anyways, time to start MGMAT guide #3, Equations, Inequalities, and VICs!
"I'm soo excited" haha.

NoObstacles

What I did was finish all the MGMAT quant books, and I took MGMAT 1 untimed, and only did the Quant section, got Q45, untimed, just to see if I was getting the questions correct, it probably took me 2 hours? Then I stopped CATs, and went to verbal for 3 weeks, at the end of 3 weeks I started CATs from MGMAT untimed, and then moved to the free CATs from Knewton, and Veritas, snd then started timing, but that was just me. Then I worked on weak areas, specifically SC and CR, and some DS stuff, click my profile, and you can see my journey. It's also periodically on the top of the list as I update my story.

That sounds like a strategy that will work for me, especially given my last attempt at a CAT.

I'll make sure to check out your journey as well, and keep you updated on mine!

NoObstacles
Re: 2 months into GMAT prep. Goal = 680+. Feedback appreciated :   [#permalink] 10 Apr 2011, 19:17
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