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Beginner on GMAT Stuff

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New post 29 Jun 2018, 02:30
Hello everyone!
I am new here to the forum, and also a beginner regarding all aspects of the GMAT.

I am finishing my undergraduate studies in 2019 and I was planning to take the GMAT either in September/October so as to apply for the 2019 intake.
I will apply to MSc programs that require, on average, a score higher or equal than 700. Although I am the best student in my course, from what I hear it is difficult to get above the 700 landmark, thus I would like to ask your help on how to prepare for the test.
I am a Portuguese studying in Portugal, nevertheless all my course is taught in English. However, I believe my quantitative skills are much greater than the verbal ones.

What advices may you give in order to achieve that goal? Do you believe that with 2,5/3,5 months studying full time is possible to get +700?
What are the best books and materials? What would be your advise on how to plan the study?

Thank you all in advance,
Pedro
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 09:46
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Hi PTD1995,

Welcome gmatclub!

To start your prep, you can take an official mock test to see where you stand and identify weaknesses. There are 2 free tests:
https://www.mba.com/global/store/store- ... -free.aspx

To find out more about the prep here:
GMAT Study Plan for New GMAT Test Takers
Best GMAT Books

Hope it helps!
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 18:29
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Hi Pedro,

Since it sounds like you're just beginning your studies, then it would be a good idea to take a FULL-LENGTH practice CAT Test; you can take 2 for free at www.mba.com (and they come with some additional practice materials). If you want to do a little studying first, so that you can familiarize yourself with the basic content and question types, then that's okay - but you shouldn't wait too long to take that initial CAT. That score will give us a good sense of your natural strengths and weaknesses and will help provide a basis for comparison as you continue to study. A FULL CAT takes about 3.5 hours to complete, so make sure that you've set aside enough time to take it in one sitting. Once you have those scores, you should report back here and we can come up with a study plan.

I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline and goals:
1) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Beginner on GMAT Stuff  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2018, 02:04
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PTD1995 wrote:
Hello everyone!
I am new here to the forum, and also a beginner regarding all aspects of the GMAT.

I am finishing my undergraduate studies in 2019 and I was planning to take the GMAT either in September/October so as to apply for the 2019 intake.
I will apply to MSc programs that require, on average, a score higher or equal than 700. Although I am the best student in my course, from what I hear it is difficult to get above the 700 landmark, thus I would like to ask your help on how to prepare for the test.
I am a Portuguese studying in Portugal, nevertheless all my course is taught in English. However, I believe my quantitative skills are much greater than the verbal ones.

What advices may you give in order to achieve that goal? Do you believe that with 2,5/3,5 months studying full time is possible to get +700?
What are the best books and materials? What would be your advise on how to plan the study?

Thank you all in advance,
Pedro


Hi PTD1995,

Welcome to GMATCLUB. Four months should be good enough to achieve your target score. I would encourage you take one of the two GMAT PREP practice test. You can know your weaknesses and work on them. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for that period, you are sure to achieve your goal. I believe you may benefit from taking a GMATPREP course. If you are willing, there are some great GMAT prep companies that can help you with your preparation.

In order to make an informed decision I would highly encourage you to go to their websites and try on their free trial and decide for yourself which one do you like better. You try out free access to EmpowerGMAT, Magoosh and Optimus Prep as they have great reviews on GMATCLUB.

Also for 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.

You can also try out the MGMAT guides they are phenomenal and cover the entire syllabus really well. Just by going through these guides and solving the OG will help you reach 600+.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.

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 latest version of OG, Quant and Verbal review and GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... ml?fl=menu

Lastly, you can check out a very interesting article by Mike McGarry from Magoosh detailing a 3 month study plan

https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... -students/. You will find it very helpful as it gives out a study plan as per your needs.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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New post 30 Jun 2018, 09:50
Hi again!

Thank you for your time answering my questions EMPOWERgmatRichC, rohan2345, Akela.

So I took today my first practice test like you suggested and the scores were the following. I left the writing assignment in blank, because I'm still not prepared to take all the test at once (I decided to write the essay lastly). My head did not want to work more after the last part :-D

Unofficial GMAT® Scores

Scaled Score Percentile
Integrated Reasoning 5 55
Verbal 35 76
Quantitative 46 60
Total 660 78

Overall, I think the results were above my expectations, and I am kind of relieved since I have set the bar somewhat high.

EMPOWERgmatRichC , I am a 2nd year Economics student (currently entering in my senior year; 3-year course) and I am going to apply for the 2019 intake.

After some research, I already did a first draft of some schools I may apply: LSE, LBS, MIT Sloan, Princeton, Columbia, NYU, Said, Imperial College, HEC Paris, among others.
Thus, my goal would be a +750 score, so as to stand out in my application.
I will apply to a MSc program in Finance. Do you have any idea if it is more competitive than MBA programs?

I will have until September (no classes) full time to study for the test. Thus, I expect somewhat 4/5 hours a day.

Any advice on how to plan my study from now on, after these results? Where should I focus?

Thank you all in advance,
Pedro
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New post 30 Jun 2018, 12:11
1
PTD1995 wrote:
Hello everyone!
I am new here to the forum, and also a beginner regarding all aspects of the GMAT.

I am finishing my undergraduate studies in 2019 and I was planning to take the GMAT either in September/October so as to apply for the 2019 intake.
I will apply to MSc programs that require, on average, a score higher or equal than 700. Although I am the best student in my course, from what I hear it is difficult to get above the 700 landmark, thus I would like to ask your help on how to prepare for the test.
I am a Portuguese studying in Portugal, nevertheless all my course is taught in English. However, I believe my quantitative skills are much greater than the verbal ones.

What advices may you give in order to achieve that goal? Do you believe that with 2,5/3,5 months studying full time is possible to get +700?
What are the best books and materials? What would be your advise on how to plan the study?

Thank you all in advance,
Pedro

Some useful threads

Quant
https://gmatclub.com/forum/all-you-need ... 40445.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/ultimate-gma ... 44512.html

Verbal
https://gmatclub.com/forum/all-you-need ... 64070.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/ultimate-ver ... 33279.html
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Re: Beginner on GMAT Stuff  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2018, 19:33
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Hi Pedro,

A 660 is a really strong initial CAT Score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years). You also have given yourself plenty of time to study - which is good. Highly-competitive Finance Programs tend to put a greater emphasis on an applicant's Quant Scaled Score, so putting in the necessary work to learn and practice the proper Tactics to raise that Quant Score should help you score higher on the GMAT AND improve how Admissions Officers will view your application.

When it comes to studying for the GMAT, there are lots of options. Have you purchased any GMAT materials yet?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 01 Jul 2018, 03:35
Thank you for the answer Rich :-)

I started reading here on the forum about the materials and I got the Manhattan Prep + Official Guide. Do you believe that this is enough?

"Highly-competitive Finance Programs tend to put a greater emphasis on an applicant's Quant Scaled Score, so putting in the necessary work to learn and practice the proper Tactics to raise that Quant Score should help you score higher on the GMAT AND improve how Admissions Officers will view your application. "

What are your thoughts on how much is necessary to improve in order to have a stronger than usual application?

Thank you again,
Pedro
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New post 01 Jul 2018, 08:16
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Familiarize yourself with the question types and how to approach them. Give a mock test. Once you share your results of the mock test then we could help you with other questions which you have asked in this forum.

All the very best!!
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New post 01 Jul 2018, 10:01
misuss wrote:
When it comes to studying for the GMAT, there are lots of options. Have you purchased any GMAT materials yet?

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


No, I have not. I'm still looking for some guidance on how to approach the test and the next few months
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New post 01 Jul 2018, 11:46
Hi Pedro,

Based on this initial CAT Score - and assuming that you took this initial practice CAT under realistic conditions - you might be able to improve to a 700+ without too much trouble (consistently scoring 750+ will be a bit more of a challenge though). Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level - but that does not necessarily mean that you will. You can certainly begin your studies with the books that you've listed and we can see how well you improve. If you do end up getting stuck, then we'll be able to figure that out relatively quickly and then make the necessary adjustments to your studies.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 02 Jul 2018, 09:11
PTD1995 wrote:
Hello everyone!
I am new here to the forum, and also a beginner regarding all aspects of the GMAT.

I am finishing my undergraduate studies in 2019 and I was planning to take the GMAT either in September/October so as to apply for the 2019 intake.
I will apply to MSc programs that require, on average, a score higher or equal than 700. Although I am the best student in my course, from what I hear it is difficult to get above the 700 landmark, thus I would like to ask your help on how to prepare for the test.
I am a Portuguese studying in Portugal, nevertheless all my course is taught in English. However, I believe my quantitative skills are much greater than the verbal ones.

What advices may you give in order to achieve that goal? Do you believe that with 2,5/3,5 months studying full time is possible to get +700?
What are the best books and materials? What would be your advise on how to plan the study?

Thank you all in advance,
Pedro


Resources

For Concept Learning

Manhattan Quant Guides
Manhattan Verbal Guides
For CR: The Powerscore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
For RC: Aristotle RC Grail

For Practice

The Official Guide for GMAT 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2015-18

Strategies

You can start with Quant or Verbal which suits you. If you have started with Quant then Start with the Arithmetic but if started with verbal then start first with Sentence correction. One month for learning Quant concepts and one month for practicing question and same practice for Verbal. During you Practicing question don't forget to make an error log to track your weak areas after practice. Once you know your weak areas revise your Concepts related to those areas and do some more Practice. 6-8 CATs are enough for practice the real tests. Make your Stamina for sitting 3 hours in the test and don't study more than 2 hours in one sit and 4 hours per day

Top CATs for Practice

1. Official GMAC CATs
2. Manhattan CATs
3. Kaplan CATs
4. GMAT Club Quant CATs

Good Luck
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New post 03 Jul 2018, 17:59
Hi Pedro,

So, 660 is a great starting point. With some smart, dedicated prep, you probably can increase your score; however, it may take significant time to reach at 750+.

To increase your quant and verbal scores to a more advanced level, you need to study each topic "with a fine-toothed comb" to determine your exact weaknesses.

For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. Once complete, do a thorough analysis of each incorrect question. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why you got it wrong. 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 properly analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to more efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant knowledge. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant and verbal 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 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.

In the case of verbal, let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number questions just from that topic: strengthen and weaken the argument, resolve the paradox, find the conclusion, must be true, etc. Once complete, do a thorough analysis of each incorrect question. If you got a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why you got it wrong. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific CR question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? Again, you must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When you do dozens of the same type of question 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 the 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 at least around 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

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.

I realize you have some prep materials, so for now feel free to give those a shot. The important thing is to objectively evaluate your progress so that, in the event that the prep books aren’t meeting your needs, you don’t end up overinvesting time in a resource that isn’t working for you. Thus, if after 4 to 6 weeks you find that you are not making the improvement you need, you should perhaps think about changing up your study routine. Certainly that change would not have to be anything drastic, but you may consider using a self-study course.

If you do find that you need a self-study course, take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find my article helpful regardinghow to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Beginner on GMAT Stuff  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 20:59
PTD1995 wrote:
Hello everyone!
I am new here to the forum, and also a beginner regarding all aspects of the GMAT.

I am finishing my undergraduate studies in 2019 and I was planning to take the GMAT either in September/October so as to apply for the 2019 intake.
I will apply to MSc programs that require, on average, a score higher or equal than 700. Although I am the best student in my course, from what I hear it is difficult to get above the 700 landmark, thus I would like to ask your help on how to prepare for the test.
I am a Portuguese studying in Portugal, nevertheless all my course is taught in English. However, I believe my quantitative skills are much greater than the verbal ones.

What advices may you give in order to achieve that goal? Do you believe that with 2,5/3,5 months studying full time is possible to get +700?
What are the best books and materials? What would be your advise on how to plan the study?

Thank you all in advance,
Pedro


GMAT is a exam of concepts al well as endurance.
So, to build the concepts you can use the following resources

For Quant
1) Mgmat quant books or Magoosh,com
2) Mgmat advance Quant
3) gmat club test

For Verbal
1) SC- MGMAT SC
2) CR- Power score bible
3) RC- veritas of MGMAT for building concepts and solve as many RCs as you can

And the most important thing is to build endurance.
So to build endurance
try to give tests regularly. Solve at least 20 questions of any section in a row.

and the most important thing is to use official resources.
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Re: Beginner on GMAT Stuff &nbs [#permalink] 03 Jul 2018, 20:59
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