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Final phase of preparation tips

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Current Student
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Joined: 14 May 2017
Posts: 9
Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Strategy, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V44
GPA: 3.2
WE: Military Officer (Military & Defense)
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New post 04 Jul 2017, 11:47
Hi everyone,

Long time lurker who has been prepping 1-2hours daily for about two months with MGMAT Books as an Aid, and the OS guide as a question bank, i normally squeeze in 1 heavy day of 4 hours a week and over the last three weeks at least 1 Full CAT in addition to the revision questions.

I'm about 3 weeks away from my expected GMAT exam and I'm in the final "testing phase". I've got some good holiday to revise in the two weeks preceding the exam, unfortunately I've hit a bit of a brick wall in terms of progression on the tests and I'm unsure of how to get the most out of this period.

I'm targeting 720 (Q48/V40) with my main weaknesses being Sentence correction on verbal, my quant errors aren't indicating any specific area of weakness, more a general problem.

My scores are listed below, all tests were taken under test conditions with (Verbal, Quant, IR and AWA). Once completed I review quickly the same day and the following day go into depth on the incorrect q's. The tests were spaced between four and five days apart.

GmatClub1 640 (Q44/V34)
VeritasPrep 690 (Q46/V39)
MGMAT CAT 670 (Q45/V36)
GmatClub2 640 (Q44/V34)

I've looked at my data and although I'm making fewer simple errors in both verbal and quant (no longer making SC/Quant errors at 500 level, greater number of 700 level questions offered by the CAT) and therefore facing a greater number of difficult questions, I'm still not able to capitalise and turn this into muchos puntos!.

SC questions are still nails - I still struggle to conceptualise the grammar beyond 'that doesn't sound right' as such its killing my verbal.
My Quant questions are mainly overlooking key concepts when they're hidden from view... noticing them isn't getting any easier...

Any advice on how to squeeze some development out of these critical weeks would be most welcome! :-D
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15713
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Final phase of preparation tips  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2017, 12:16
Hi Bananadad,

You've listed your results from a series of 3rd-party practice CATs; have you taken any of the Official GMAC CATs yet (and if so, then how did you score?)? If you have not taken one of those Official CATs yet, then I suggest that you take one next - and take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss how best to proceed.

Assuming that you took these other CATs in a realistic way, then you have a general ability level around 650 (+/- a few points). Raising that to a 720+ will likely take another 1-2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. This is meant to say that you might want to consider pushing back your planned Test Date.

From what you've described, your studies so far have been "book heavy"; unfortunately, many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level, so you'll likely need to invest in some non-book resources. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

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

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Current Student
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Joined: 14 May 2017
Posts: 9
Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Strategy, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V44
GPA: 3.2
WE: Military Officer (Military & Defense)
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New post 05 Jul 2017, 04:46
I've got my First GMAC practice test planned for this weekend, I'll let you know how it goes. In the interim I'm crib carding my mistakes, redoing the questions and thrashing myself on SC.

I'm a bit constrained by work commitments to commit to the GMAT any other time, unfortunately the maximum I can push this to the right is 3-4 days.

In terms of the MBA and my profile

I'm looking at SLOAN and UK 2019

5 years experience
Military ( Highly operational)
Engineering Undergraduate MEng 2:2 (2.9GPA - hence the need for strong GMAT Score)
Looking into Consultancy Or Gov/Pol for future careers
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New post 05 Jul 2017, 08:20
Hi,

E-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live are both amazing courses that can really help you improve your scores.

However, given how close your GMAT date is, I personally do not think one should adopt any new method on the final leg of their GMAT Preparation. It may be nice to give a couple of mocks (the official ones) and work on your weaknesses, but trying something new might not work in anyone’s favour. However if you want to improve on any individual area such as Sentence Correction, you may subscribe to the individual SC course as you can finish the whole course in 10 days (with proper dedication). If however you are only looking to indentify and improve on your weak areas, I would encourage you to purchase the e-gmat scholaranium. It is without a doubt, one of the best practice tools for verbal and will indeed help you on the final leg of your preparations.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 1870
Re: Final phase of preparation tips  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2017, 10:19
Bananadad wrote:
I've got my First GMAC practice test planned for this weekend, I'll let you know how it goes. In the interim I'm crib carding my mistakes, redoing the questions and thrashing myself on SC.

I'm a bit constrained by work commitments to commit to the GMAT any other time, unfortunately the maximum I can push this to the right is 3-4 days.

In terms of the MBA and my profile

I'm looking at SLOAN and UK 2019

5 years experience
Military ( Highly operational)
Engineering Undergraduate MEng 2:2 (2.9GPA - hence the need for strong GMAT Score)
Looking into Consultancy Or Gov/Pol for future careers


To improve in a short interval, you need to down deep in each question type.

SC: The questions test various concepts such as S-V agreement, modifiers, parallelism etc. Find out what troubles you.
As a general guide line and a starting point, you can start solving a question by taking the following things in consideration:

1. Find out the subject and the verb
2. See that the S&V agree in number
3. Look out for the modifiers
4. Look out for parallelism
5. Look out for usage of certain words - such as vs like, few vs less etc.

CR: There might be certain types of questions that are troubling you. May be Assumption, may be conclusion, inference etc.
You need to find that out and then practice them
RC: This again can be drilled down into different types of questions and also different topics. See what questions and topics trouble you the most and then practice accordingly.
Quants: Again try to break the questions in topics such as Algebra, Number system (very important), Geometry, PnC etc.

As an addition, start preparing an error log and keep a note of all the mistakes you made and the lessons you learnt from the problems. This will ensure you do not make the same mistake again.

All the best!
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Final phase of preparation tips   [#permalink] 06 Jul 2017, 10:19
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