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# Change strategy, one month until test day?

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Intern
Joined: 25 Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Change strategy, one month until test day?  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2019, 02:32
I've been studying for two months, with the 2019 OG and Manhattan as main focus. Have done (most of) the practice questions in the OG and read through the Quant part of the manhattan. I've been neglecting the verbal part a bit, since the verbal section is my strong one. I struggle with quant and time management.

Nevertheless, I've done my first practice exam and the score was 450. My goal on test day is 530. I'm not too disappointed with my score of 450, however, I realized I've had the wrong approach studying for this test. I focused too much on practice questions and took my time doing them. I started doing questions almost instantly, learning by solving problems. This is how I've studied before with success, but the GMAT is so much more different from what I've done in the past.

At this point I can solve most of the questions on quant, but it takes a lot more time than two minutes. The same goes for the verbal section. Applying the theory fast enough and not being able to "think" about the problem I face made me realize I don't have the theory behind both Quant and Verbal so seamlessly I can apply it instantly. I didn't have time for at least four questions on each part Quant and Verbal. I also found IR hit me like a hammer, I was not used to these types of questions.

So, my question is what to do next. Should I focus on going through the literature more ambitious? Should I continue doing questions but with more time management? It sucks to have been "studying wrong" but I have to face it and just move on. I've got about 1-2 h/weekdays and at least 8-10 hours on the weekends ahead.

Any help would be most helpful. Cheers.
Manager
Status: wake up with a purpose
Joined: 24 Feb 2017
Posts: 163
Concentration: Accounting, Entrepreneurship
Re: Change strategy, one month until test day?  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2019, 05:46
Musique wrote:
I've been studying for two months, with the 2019 OG and Manhattan as main focus. Have done (most of) the practice questions in the OG and read through the Quant part of the manhattan. I've been neglecting the verbal part a bit, since the verbal section is my strong one. I struggle with quant and time management.

Nevertheless, I've done my first practice exam and the score was 450. My goal on test day is 530. I'm not too disappointed with my score of 450, however, I realized I've had the wrong approach studying for this test. I focused too much on practice questions and took my time doing them. I started doing questions almost instantly, learning by solving problems. This is how I've studied before with success, but the GMAT is so much more different from what I've done in the past.

At this point I can solve most of the questions on quant, but it takes a lot more time than two minutes. The same goes for the verbal section. Applying the theory fast enough and not being able to "think" about the problem I face made me realize I don't have the theory behind both Quant and Verbal so seamlessly I can apply it instantly. I didn't have time for at least four questions on each part Quant and Verbal. I also found IR hit me like a hammer, I was not used to these types of questions.

So, my question is what to do next. Should I focus on going through the literature more ambitious? Should I continue doing questions but with more time management? It sucks to have been "studying wrong" but I have to face it and just move on. I've got about 1-2 h/weekdays and at least 8-10 hours on the weekends ahead.

Any help would be most helpful. Cheers.

my humble advice will be: (this works for me)

Read a chapter from Manhattan Quant guides, and then do the problems regarding that topic/or chapter. There is a list of related official questions at the end of every book.

when you are doing a question, do similar questions. this is what I mean: for every question use gmatclub, use timer, read experts(mainly Bunuel) explanations and then scroll down to the bottom of that thread, you will see 5 more questions link. DO ALL the FIVE. Use the learning from earlier questions and from MGMAT guides.

* "GMAT Club Master Directory" has all the OG questions link.

Remember to take TAKEAWAYS from every question. the takeaways should be like:

IF I SEE ________ IN MY FUTURE PROBLEMS, I WILL DO ______ TO SOLVE THEM!

hope this will help.
good luck.
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Change strategy, one month until test day?  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2019, 07:46
Musique wrote:
I've been studying for two months, with the 2019 OG and Manhattan as main focus. Have done (most of) the practice questions in the OG and read through the Quant part of the manhattan. I've been neglecting the verbal part a bit, since the verbal section is my strong one. I struggle with quant and time management.

Nevertheless, I've done my first practice exam and the score was 450. My goal on test day is 530. I'm not too disappointed with my score of 450, however, I realized I've had the wrong approach studying for this test. I focused too much on practice questions and took my time doing them. I started doing questions almost instantly, learning by solving problems. This is how I've studied before with success, but the GMAT is so much more different from what I've done in the past.

At this point I can solve most of the questions on quant, but it takes a lot more time than two minutes. The same goes for the verbal section. Applying the theory fast enough and not being able to "think" about the problem I face made me realize I don't have the theory behind both Quant and Verbal so seamlessly I can apply it instantly. I didn't have time for at least four questions on each part Quant and Verbal. I also found IR hit me like a hammer, I was not used to these types of questions.

So, my question is what to do next. Should I focus on going through the literature more ambitious? Should I continue doing questions but with more time management? It sucks to have been "studying wrong" but I have to face it and just move on. I've got about 1-2 h/weekdays and at least 8-10 hours on the weekends ahead.

Any help would be most helpful. Cheers.

Hi Musique,

Given your scores in your previous mocks, and your performance in OG questions. I would say there are certainly some conceptual gaps and you may need to solidify your base first. As your score in Verbal has constantly been a bit low, I believe you should subscribe to a well designed course to improve you score in Verbal. I believe you may be able to complete the entire online course in 1 month.

To improve your scores in verbal, you can 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 practice tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

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

Hope this helps. All the best!
Intern
Joined: 25 Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Re: Change strategy, one month until test day?  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2019, 11:52
RashedVai wrote:
Musique wrote:
I've been studying for two months, with the 2019 OG and Manhattan as main focus. Have done (most of) the practice questions in the OG and read through the Quant part of the manhattan. I've been neglecting the verbal part a bit, since the verbal section is my strong one. I struggle with quant and time management.

Nevertheless, I've done my first practice exam and the score was 450. My goal on test day is 530. I'm not too disappointed with my score of 450, however, I realized I've had the wrong approach studying for this test. I focused too much on practice questions and took my time doing them. I started doing questions almost instantly, learning by solving problems. This is how I've studied before with success, but the GMAT is so much more different from what I've done in the past.

At this point I can solve most of the questions on quant, but it takes a lot more time than two minutes. The same goes for the verbal section. Applying the theory fast enough and not being able to "think" about the problem I face made me realize I don't have the theory behind both Quant and Verbal so seamlessly I can apply it instantly. I didn't have time for at least four questions on each part Quant and Verbal. I also found IR hit me like a hammer, I was not used to these types of questions.

So, my question is what to do next. Should I focus on going through the literature more ambitious? Should I continue doing questions but with more time management? It sucks to have been "studying wrong" but I have to face it and just move on. I've got about 1-2 h/weekdays and at least 8-10 hours on the weekends ahead.

Any help would be most helpful. Cheers.

my humble advice will be: (this works for me)

Read a chapter from Manhattan Quant guides, and then do the problems regarding that topic/or chapter. There is a list of related official questions at the end of every book.

when you are doing a question, do similar questions. this is what I mean: for every question use gmatclub, use timer, read experts(mainly Bunuel) explanations and then scroll down to the bottom of that thread, you will see 5 more questions link. DO ALL the FIVE. Use the learning from earlier questions and from MGMAT guides.

* "GMAT Club Master Directory" has all the OG questions link.

Remember to take TAKEAWAYS from every question. the takeaways should be like:

IF I SEE ________ IN MY FUTURE PROBLEMS, I WILL DO ______ TO SOLVE THEM!

hope this will help.
good luck.

This is good input, thanks.

I've considered doing just this, re-testing myself on the Manhattan Questions, both Quant and Verbal and really male sure I understand what I did wrong if I'm answering incorrect. Furthermore, I need to make sure I see patterns in different types of problems. I.e I have to manage the GMAT without being able to think too much about the problem at all, just knowing what to do instantly.

I have to admit it's a struggle in terms of motivation at the moment. Realizing I basically wasted a month of studying thinking I did something productive by just solving questions. Not focusing on theory and patterns in problem solving was a mistake. Have to eat that one up now.
Manager
Status: wake up with a purpose
Joined: 24 Feb 2017
Posts: 163
Concentration: Accounting, Entrepreneurship
Re: Change strategy, one month until test day?  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2019, 12:09
That's where you leave a kudos. If you find something helpful, then consider to leave a kudos there.
Just kidding!

btw, good luck.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Change strategy, one month until test day?  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2019, 17:28
Hi Musique,

Many GMATers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so you should not necessarily expect to have mastered any aspects of the Exam just yet. Your Score Goal is absolutely achievable - and the good news is that you do NOT need to correctly answer ANY questions during the Exam that you think are too hard or too weird to achieve that Goal - but you do have to keep the little mistakes to a minimum.

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 your timeline and your goals:

1) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

In addition, "review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix'). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your last CAT. While a full Mistake Tracker would provide a lot more information, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer (and the more EXACT you can be with your answers, the better):

After reviewing each section of this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Intern
Joined: 25 Oct 2019
Posts: 4
Re: Change strategy, one month until test day?  [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2019, 12:57
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Musique,

Many GMATers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so you should not necessarily expect to have mastered any aspects of the Exam just yet. Your Score Goal is absolutely achievable - and the good news is that you do NOT need to correctly answer ANY questions during the Exam that you think are too hard or too weird to achieve that Goal - but you do have to keep the little mistakes to a minimum.

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 your timeline and your goals:

1) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

In addition, "review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix'). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your last CAT. While a full Mistake Tracker would provide a lot more information, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer (and the more EXACT you can be with your answers, the better):

After reviewing each section of this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

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

I've analysed my recently done CAT, and the silly mistakes stand for most of the errors. I've read questions wrong (e.g "what is the area of the shaded area in Circle X", and the shaded area is 3/4 of the circle, not the 1/4 pie slice, which I instantly assumed was the area being asked for without even looking more closely..)

The five questions really got me thinking and me realize I have some gaps in my theoretical knowledge. My structure when dealing with, for instance, consecutive integer type of questions, and harder sentence correction question, is no good. My plan ahead is as follows:

- Go through the Manhattan SC, really make sure I have got the theory right (honestly, I haven't read the SC guide with serious effort. The verbal came so easy at the start, I neglected it a bit. Have to deal with that now. However, after just two days of reading, things are a lot more clear.

- Read through, and do the questions in Manhattan Quant. All guides. I have to repeat the different types of problems to make sure I'm fast enough. Silly mistakes often comes from exponents, percent and fractions.

- Do 2 more CAT's and in someway study more IR. Both questions and theory.

Regarding my Business school and application date, It's quite a relief that the GMAT score required is 350 ( I know it's low). If I score over 450, I'm basically guaranteed admission. I've doubled checked this with the student counselling a number of times. I'm only applying to one school.

How does my plan look for the month ahead? I will try to study according to the Magoosh 1-month plan, i.e do some Verbal and Quant each day before the test to make sure I stay fresh on both parts.
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Re: Change strategy, one month until test day?  [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2019, 09:58
Hi Musique,

Since you recently scored 450 on a practice GMAT, it’s a sign that you still have numerous weak areas in both quant and verbal that need to be addressed in order to improve your GMAT score. Thus, moving forward, you really need to follow a linear and structured study plan that allows you to learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic individually and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. By studying in this way (as opposed to random practice) you’ll be able to methodically improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills and ensure that no stone is left unturned.

If you feel you need additional resources, then check out the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. You also may find it helpful to read the following article about The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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Re: Change strategy, one month until test day?  [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2019, 15:46
Hi Musique,

Since your GMAT Score 'needs' are so modest, your Study Plan going forward might be all that you need to hit that Score and be done with the GMAT. I want to reiterate that you do NOT need to correctly answer any hard/weird/strange questions to hit that Score.... but all of those little mistakes that you mentioned had a serious impact on your overall Score. By quickly 'dumping' just a few of those tougher questions in each section, you can 'free up' a lot of time - which you can then spend on all of the other questions. By extension, you can then take more notes, double-check your work, etc. and make sure that you don't make those little mistakes.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Change strategy, one month until test day?   [#permalink] 21 Nov 2019, 15:46
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# Change strategy, one month until test day?

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