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Embarking on the GMAT and not too sure where to start...

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New post 13 Aug 2018, 13:51
Quick background; graduated from a decent state school in 2016 with a not so decent GPA (2.6), diagnosed with ADHD in April of 2018 and have been receiving treatment in the form of therapy and medication. I've been working in Finance for the last 3 years and since April 18' my boss and I have noticed a huge improvement since treatment started. I always wanted to go for my MBA but I was very scared that I wouldn't be able to make the cut, but now that I feel more focused and attentive I have a lot more confidence in my abilities. I've now narrowed down the programs I want to go to and I will require at minimum a 650 score, but I am aiming for a 700 or higher.

I am aiming for a 6 month study plan to achieve my desired score, I was never a good test taker for multiple reasons so I want to give myself a buffer. Thoughts?

Books ~ GMAT Official Guide 2019 Bundle, planning on buying all the books since they're not too much, are there any other reading materials you suggest?

Online courses ~ I get kind of lost here with the amount of resources, does anyone recommend online courses? I'm not a huge fan of online courses but if its really necessary I won't over look it.
* classroom courses ~ Haven't researched this too much, I work full time so this might not be so flexible for me. Thoughts?

Tutoring ~ Again, so many resources I don't even know where to start, would you strongly recommend a tutor? I had decent experiences with tutors in grade school but haven't used one in college.

I feel slightly overwhelmed and I don't have any time to waste, so I am trying to narrow down a study strategy.

Thanks in advance.
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New post 13 Aug 2018, 15:39
Hi arahmani15,

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) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 08:59
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Welcome to the world of GMAT arahmani15!

It can definitely be a bit overwhelming. here are a few quick thoughts on the different ways one can study:
- regarding books, the OG is indeed a must. aside from that, I wouldn't base my studies on books. the gmat is a computer adaptive test, while books are neither of those things.
- A classroom based GMAT Course
makes sense if you feel comfortable in a classroom setting, your budget is very high, you are self-motivated and don’t have big gaps in your knowledge that need special attention, and your schedule can accommodate a course that meets at a specific time every week. However, as every GMAT student knows, the real work happens back at home, outside the classroom, when you practice and try to figure out solutions by yourself.
- online courses allow us to choose our own time and place. However, many of these are videos of a power point presentation showing the course material followed by a bulk of practice questions.
- Live online courses are also an option. These have a similar experience to the old fashioned GMAT class except you watch the tutor through a screen. When taking an in-person or live-online course we should make sure that we will have enough face time.
- Private tutoring makes sense if we need a very high score and an individual study plan, and especially – if we have extra money to spare in order to get additional attention and feedback or to spend more time on certain areas. Putting cost aside, even the best private tutors only know what they see in the few questions that you’ve solved in front of them.
- Exampal (my company) has a different type of course, online computer assisted customised learning. This uses personalised machine learning to monitor thousands of students, and provides you with the approaches that proved most efficient for each given question.

Best of luck in your studies!
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New post 14 Aug 2018, 09:11
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arahmani15 wrote:
Quick background; graduated from a decent state school in 2016 with a not so decent GPA (2.6), diagnosed with ADHD in April of 2018 and have been receiving treatment in the form of therapy and medication. I've been working in Finance for the last 3 years and since April 18' my boss and I have noticed a huge improvement since treatment started. I always wanted to go for my MBA but I was very scared that I wouldn't be able to make the cut, but now that I feel more focused and attentive I have a lot more confidence in my abilities. I've now narrowed down the programs I want to go to and I will require at minimum a 650 score, but I am aiming for a 700 or higher.

I am aiming for a 6 month study plan to achieve my desired score, I was never a good test taker for multiple reasons so I want to give myself a buffer. Thoughts?

Books ~ GMAT Official Guide 2019 Bundle, planning on buying all the books since they're not too much, are there any other reading materials you suggest?

Online courses ~ I get kind of lost here with the amount of resources, does anyone recommend online courses? I'm not a huge fan of online courses but if its really necessary I won't over look it.
* classroom courses ~ Haven't researched this too much, I work full time so this might not be so flexible for me. Thoughts?

Tutoring ~ Again, so many resources I don't even know where to start, would you strongly recommend a tutor? I had decent experiences with tutors in grade school but haven't used one in college.

I feel slightly overwhelmed and I don't have any time to waste, so I am trying to narrow down a study strategy.

Thanks in advance.


Hi
In my opinion, since you are having around 6 months, you should go for a classroom or an online course. Classroom course depends on your location. Major cities will generally have some good courses. Online courses require discipline from your end. You can complete it at your convenience and a lot of quality material is available for you sitting at home. You can find some online courses with good reviews on Gmatclub. Make sure to take free trial sessions before you enroll in any, based on your comfort level with the teaching methodology. Most of the courses come with a free trial period. Tryng a private tutor may be useful, but then it may be costly. I hope you can take a decision based on these parameters. Hope it helps. All the best.
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New post 16 Aug 2018, 17:59
Thanks for all the info guys! I just got my OG, I am going to look into classrooms and tutors now, as I don't think I have the discipline for an online course. Thanks again!
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New post 17 Aug 2018, 19:57
Hi arahmani15,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Since you are just starting out, I agree that it would be helpful for you to take an MBA.com practice exam to get a baseline score. The score breakdown will also help determine how to focus your study efforts in regard to quant and verbal.

Once you take the practice exam, please report back here, and I can provide some detailed advice.
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New post 17 Aug 2018, 21:38
arahmani15 wrote:
Quick background; graduated from a decent state school in 2016 with a not so decent GPA (2.6), diagnosed with ADHD in April of 2018 and have been receiving treatment in the form of therapy and medication. I've been working in Finance for the last 3 years and since April 18' my boss and I have noticed a huge improvement since treatment started. I always wanted to go for my MBA but I was very scared that I wouldn't be able to make the cut, but now that I feel more focused and attentive I have a lot more confidence in my abilities. I've now narrowed down the programs I want to go to and I will require at minimum a 650 score, but I am aiming for a 700 or higher.

I am aiming for a 6 month study plan to achieve my desired score, I was never a good test taker for multiple reasons so I want to give myself a buffer. Thoughts?

Books ~ GMAT Official Guide 2019 Bundle, planning on buying all the books since they're not too much, are there any other reading materials you suggest?

Online courses ~ I get kind of lost here with the amount of resources, does anyone recommend online courses? I'm not a huge fan of online courses but if its really necessary I won't over look it.
* classroom courses ~ Haven't researched this too much, I work full time so this might not be so flexible for me. Thoughts?

Tutoring ~ Again, so many resources I don't even know where to start, would you strongly recommend a tutor? I had decent experiences with tutors in grade school but haven't used one in college.

I feel slightly overwhelmed and I don't have any time to waste, so I am trying to narrow down a study strategy.

Thanks in advance.


Hi

You should better focus on a solid study plan with sound strategy. Here is a study plan for you

Best Books

For learning Concepts

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

Best Courses

1. Empower GMAT
2. Math Revolution (Only Math)
3. E-GMAT (Only Verbal)

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 18 Aug 2018, 01:53
arahmani15 wrote:
Quick background; graduated from a decent state school in 2016 with a not so decent GPA (2.6), diagnosed with ADHD in April of 2018 and have been receiving treatment in the form of therapy and medication. I've been working in Finance for the last 3 years and since April 18' my boss and I have noticed a huge improvement since treatment started. I always wanted to go for my MBA but I was very scared that I wouldn't be able to make the cut, but now that I feel more focused and attentive I have a lot more confidence in my abilities. I've now narrowed down the programs I want to go to and I will require at minimum a 650 score, but I am aiming for a 700 or higher.

I am aiming for a 6 month study plan to achieve my desired score, I was never a good test taker for multiple reasons so I want to give myself a buffer. Thoughts?

Books ~ GMAT Official Guide 2019 Bundle, planning on buying all the books since they're not too much, are there any other reading materials you suggest?

Online courses ~ I get kind of lost here with the amount of resources, does anyone recommend online courses? I'm not a huge fan of online courses but if its really necessary I won't over look it.
* classroom courses ~ Haven't researched this too much, I work full time so this might not be so flexible for me. Thoughts?

Tutoring ~ Again, so many resources I don't even know where to start, would you strongly recommend a tutor? I had decent experiences with tutors in grade school but haven't used one in college.

I feel slightly overwhelmed and I don't have any time to waste, so I am trying to narrow down a study strategy.

Thanks in advance.


Hi arahmani15,

You should dedicate around 4 months to improve your score. I would encourage you to take a GMAT Mock once. You can then know your weaknesses and can work on them. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for that period, you are sure to achieve your goal. I think you need to solidify you base and adopt a proper technique to answer the questions. 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 can try out free access to EmpowerGMAT, ExamPal 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. MGMAT foundation of GMAT Quant anf foundation of GMAT verbal will particularly help you solidify your base. 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. Please Note, that you should only do GMATCLUB tests once you have covered the base and looking to further enhance your concepts as GMATCLUB tests are a bit more difficult than the actual GMAT.

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 the latest version of OG and the verbal review 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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Re: Embarking on the GMAT and not too sure where to start...  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2018, 08:08
Top Contributor
1. We recommend taking a full length practice test through the GMAT Prep software or online version from mba.com -so you can familiarize yourself with the interface and the mental anxieties that can happen as you go through the process.

You'll also get a feel for the various question types and the pace at which you will need to move for the real thing.

So these elements are in addition to knowing where your weakness is.

2. Yes - you should definitely by the Official Guide for practice. This along with the GMAT Prep software or online version from mba.com + a supplemental 3rd party source should be the 3 main sources for your prep.

During your SC studies, we encourage you to follow along expert video explanations to guide you in your thought process.

Here's a shared Google doc of video links you may find helpful:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1f_ckd ... H1HmTgctJI

You can learn more about us at:

http://www.gmatpill.com
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