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3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??

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3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 16:43
Hello!

Like the vast majority of people, I need some guidance! Here is some background... A month ago, I didn't even know the GMAT existed. For some odd reason, I started looking into various graduate programs and realized that the GMAT was a crucial part of the application process. I started doing research into the ideal timeline for studying and preparation. I decided to sign-up to take the test right then because I knew that if I didn't do it, I probably never was going to.

As I started study, I realized how behind I was. I researched and found that it is best to take a practice test after a week of looking at the material and refreshing on key concepts. However, after three days, I couldn't wait to see where I was at. Unfortunately, my hastiness got the best of me and I scored a dismal 480 (Q:31 V:25)... I was very disappointed and decided to seriously start looking into the material. I bought books, I signed up for free tests, and became members on a good amount of forums.

After two weeks, I decided to take another practice test to gauge my progress, and ended up scoring a 580 (Q:38 V:32). I felt good, but didn't want to quit. My goal is a 650. However, over the next few weeks, work picked up and studying had to be moved to the back burner. I also had to move the date of my test up to help accommodate a business trip and a program deadline.

That brings me to today... I recently took another practice test and found that my score actually decreased to a 540 (Q:33 V:28), and the disappointment crept back in. I decided to take another practice test to prove to myself that I could do better and ended up scoring a 560 (Q:38 V:29). I know it wasn't a big decrease, but it makes me feel like what I am doing is not working. I have three weeks until my actual test and I need as much help as possible to reach my goal of 620+.

I work full time and am actually planning for a wedding, as well... I know... busy busy. I have scheduled around 3 hours of studying M-F and 6 hours on S-S over the next three weeks with the day before my test reduced to maybe 1-2 hours. Will this be enough?

Has anyone been in these shoes? Is it even possible to accomplish my goal in this time frame? Does anybody have any recommendations or study plans that could help?

I have struggled a lot on medium/ high level data sufficiency, and I have tried to devote a good amount of studying on that subject matter.

Can anybody help?
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Re: 3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 17:15
gmatprepnow is best for quant you should try it they have some videos on youtube too
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Re: 3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 20:33
Hi Hellerc35,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores; from what you have described, you are scheduled to take the GMAT after less than 2 months of (inconsistent) study. Thus, you might be trying to rush through everything and making this whole process more difficult than it has to be.

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 3 recent CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 560 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. You're closer to a 620+ than you probably realize, but again - it sounds as if you're trying to do a lot of work in a short period of time. If you pushed back your Test Date, then you would likely find the additional study time to be quite helpful - and you could potentially score much higher than 620 if you put in the proper work.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) What is your current Test Date?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
4) What are the exact application deadlines you're facing?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: 3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 20:44
Hi Hellerc35,

Your goal is very much achievable given the amount of time you are willing to devote to GMAT preparation. I think you will find the article on One Month Study Plan to be useful. I know that you have less than a month, but the approach mentioned in the article is still applicable for you.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to write to us on support@e-gmat.com in case of any further queries.

Regards,
Aditee
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Re: 3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 21:27
[quote="EMPOWERgmatRichC"]Hi Hellerc35,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores; from what you have described, you are scheduled to take the GMAT after less than 2 months of (inconsistent) study. Thus, you might be trying to rush through everything and making this whole process more difficult than it has to be.

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 3 recent CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 560 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. You're closer to a 620+ than you probably realize, but again - it sounds as if you're trying to do a lot of work in a short period of time. If you pushed back your Test Date, then you would likely find the additional study time to be quite helpful - and you could potentially score much higher than 620 if you put in the proper work.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) What is your current Test Date?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
4) What are the exact application deadlines you're facing?

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


Hello Rich,

Thanks for writing back. For the higher of the three scores I did take the IR and writing portions, but not for the other two. I am scheduled to take the test on December 15th, but originally had it scheduled for the 5th of January. Unfortunately, something has come up and I won't be able to take my test any later than the 15th...

The deadline I am trying to reach is for a program out of Nebraska, which only admits 12 out of 60-100 candidates, which ends February 1st and includes other items I am also currently working on. It isn't an Ivy league school necessarily, but the higher the score the better I appear throughout the application process.

Let me know if you have other questions.
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Re: 3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2018, 13:41
Hi Hellerc35,

Under this limited timeframe, you won't be able to significantly improve in every major category in both the Quant and Verbal sections. Assuming that you took these CATs in a realistic fashion and the Scores are accurate, then you could pick up all of the points that you're looking for in just the Quant section or in just the Verbal section - so focusing the bulk of your time on one of the two sections could potentially get you up to 620+ by December 15th.

1) If you did not score at least 620 on December 15th, would you retest, apply with whatever Score you had or not apply at all?
2) Which of the two sections do you find easier overall?
3) Does this Program have any requirements for the Essay or IR Scores?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: 3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2018, 20:55
I still plan to apply with whatever score that I receive. There is a lot more that goes into it then the score. There isn’t a requirement for the IR or Essay for the program, and I find quant easier, but I sometimes make hurried and dumb decision.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: 3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2018, 13:24
Hi Hellerc35,

Based on everything that you've described, your relatively short timeframe and the fact that you find the Quant section easier, the most effective use of your remaining time would likely be on Quant content, Tactics and patterns. As such, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Quant Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in well under a month, so that Study Plan should fit your timeframe. We have a variety of free resources on our site (www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an account.

Regardless of how you choose to proceed, with your Score Goal, it's worth noting that you do NOT need to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird, but you do need to keep the silly/little mistakes to a minimum. If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Re: 3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice??  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2018, 19:12
Hi Hellerc35,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, is it possible to improve from 560 to 620+ in 3 weeks? Yes, it’s possible; however, you may find that you need more time. In any case, since you seem set on taking your test in 3 weeks, I’m happy to provide some advice on how to improve both your verbal and quant skills. If you don’t end up hitting your score goal in the 3 weeks you’ve set aside, feel free to reach back out, and we can discuss a plan B.

So, to improve your score, you have to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. 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.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

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 and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for [the best quant](https://gmatclub.com/reviews/highest-ra ... or-quant-4) and [verbal courses](https://gmatclub.com/reviews/highest-ra ... -verbal-34].

You also may find it helpful to read my article about [how to score a 700+ on the GMAT](http://blog.targettestprep.com/how-to-s ... -the-gmat/).

Please reach out with any further questions.
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Re: 3 Week GMAT Study Schedule or Advice?? &nbs [#permalink] 26 Nov 2018, 19:12
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