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First Mock Test 480- No Preparation- Target Score 700 in 8 Weeks

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First Mock Test 480- No Preparation- Target Score 700 in 8 Weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2019, 02:56
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Hi Everyone,

So I am in a bit of situation here. I have received a conditional offer from UCD Ireland for admissions into MSC Finance. The condition for full acceptance is GMAT score of 650 with high score in Quants. I need to submit my score my 31st of April. Essentially I have about 8 weeks to prepare.


Its been 7 years since I last gave an exam. Nevertheless, I decided to give the GMAT Mock Test on the GMAT site to see where I stand. Scored a 480 V28 and Q29. I have no experience with GMAT in the past or havent prepared prior to this test. I have always been strong with numbers so yes I was a bit disappointed with the score but then I know that i can get it up there if I start bushing up the basics and also some of the mistakes were careless.
On the verbal side, I will need to work really hard as I am not a native English speaker and I have always struggled with complex RCs etc. PS: I can speak the language fluently.
I am looking for suggestions/study plans on how I can work to achieve the target score of 650. Just to let you know, I enjoy mathematical problem solving and can go hours doing so. Additionally please suggest me online resources for V which are targeted at non native english speakers.

Lastly, I will be joining a crash course to so I can get some external guidance too.

Thanks you in advance for your help.

Regards
Nadeem
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Re: First Mock Test 480- No Preparation- Target Score 700 in 8 Weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2019, 22:39
Hi Nadeem,

To start, many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores. In addition, even if you weren't just now beginning your studies, raising a 480 to the point that you could consistently score 650+ will likely require at least 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you will have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. However, with your current schedule, you have no more than about 9 weeks of potential study time - and that might limit how much you can improve.

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) Is April 30th the absolute latest that you can submit your Score? What happens if you don't have a 650 by then - will you still apply or will you miss this deadline and have to apply again later?
2) Are you interested in any other Schools/Programs besides this one (and if so, then when would you be applying to those Programs?)?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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Re: First Mock Test 480- No Preparation- Target Score 700 in 8 Weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2019, 03:40
Hi Rich,

thank you for your prompt reply. Please find my reply beneath:

1) Is April 30th the absolute latest that you can submit your Score? What happens if you don't have a 650 by then - will you still apply or will you miss this deadline and have to apply again later?
Yes, April 30th is the absolute deadline and if I dont get the target score I wont be admitted this year. They have already send me the conditional offer which I have to accept within 2 weeks. In normal scenario GMAT is not mandatory, however in my case I have a low GPA and the GMAT score is to offset my low GPA.
2) Are you interested in any other Schools/Programs besides this one (and if so, then when would you be applying to those Programs?)? Well yes and No. I badly want to get into this program as it caters well to my career aspirations. My plan is to get into this school this year and if it doesn't work out then prepare for GMATs and then look for other options such INSEAD, LBS, etc. But as I said earlier this program is on my top list.
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?I can put about 30-35 hours a week consistently

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Nadeem
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Re: First Mock Test 480- No Preparation- Target Score 700 in 8 Weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2019, 11:30
Hi Nadeem,

Since you're facing a fixed deadline, you're going to have to be really efficient with the study time that you have remaining. As such, you would likely find it beneficial to invest in a GMAT Course of some type (either Guided Self-Study or instructor-led), so you should plan to look into the available options. Given everything that you've described, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat 2-Month Study Plan to be quite helpful. 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.

If you have any additional questions, then just let me know (you can also feel free to PM or email me directly).

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Rich
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Re: First Mock Test 480- No Preparation- Target Score 700 in 8 Weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2019, 16:28
Hi Nadeem,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. I’m going to assume that you are looking to score 700 (based on the title of your post) and ignore the mention of a target score of 650 in your actual post. In any case, improving 220 points is a tall order, so you may need more than just 8 weeks to obtain such a score. Since you scored a V28/Q29 on your practice exam, you really need learn GMAT quant and verbal from the ground up. Thus, I recommend following a structured and linear study plan that allows you to individually learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic, starting with the foundations before moving to more advanced concepts.

Let’s say, for example, you are learning about Number Properties. First, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

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.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? 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 practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. Keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, it is likely that you will have to work on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

In order to follow the path described above, you may consider using an online self-study course, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. You also may find it helpful to read the following articles: How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT and How Long Should I Study for the GMAT?

Feel free to reach out with further questions. Good luck!
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Re: First Mock Test 480- No Preparation- Target Score 700 in 8 Weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2019, 12:17
Hi Nadeem!!

I also have a conditional offer for UCD for a MSc and scored a 480 on the diagnostics. I’ve been using Kaplan and it seems to be helping me. I don’t have much advice but here’s to us kicking butt and being classmates next school year!!

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Re: First Mock Test 480- No Preparation- Target Score 700 in 8 Weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2019, 22:22
Hi, nadeemmohd

I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling with your Quant score. Right now, only 2 months are left, and quite intensive studying is needed from now on to improve your quant score. Considering that you are facing a strict deadline, an effective strategy is necessary.

These are two tips. The first one is taking online courses. Q29 explicitly shows that your quant basics are weak. You should focus on mastering these 5 key topics (Integer, Statistics, Inequality, Probability, and Absolute Value) that account for 80% of the GMAT exam. Students who jump into the next stage without fully understanding the previous one often fail to hit the target score. Make sure that you first comprehend the topics and then start to solve the questions. To enhance your quant solving skills and logical thinking, you should not overestimate yourself. For example, solving questions right after learning basic concepts and getting them correct could be temporary, which means that if you start to neglect internalizing those topics and solving problems, then there could be no improvements. And if you take online courses as studying material, always remember the principle of "Slow, Hand, Detail"​. First, solve "slowly " when you study and practice.​ ​Solve the problems by "hand " as a rule. Understanding how the problems are solved in videos is very different, when you work on in reality.​Solve them on paper yourself. So, practice by solving the problems by hand-writing is very important after you have studied with the videos. And,​ writing a "detailed " calculation process without skipping any steps is really important. The second one is focusing on DS, since DS can be a quick win. If you master DS, it will be easier and less time consuming to tackle PS problems. There are patterns and logic to GMAT quant problems and you can save a lot of time especially in DS questions.

To exactly assess your current math skill and receive a customized guide to improve your target score within time the frame you are expecting, we highly recommend you to take our "Free Diagnostic Test" that assesses your skill with 73 questions including all categories and topics. You may try it after registering for the membership.

Please let us know if you have further questions.You can reach us at info@mathrevolution.com

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Good luck!
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Re: First Mock Test 480- No Preparation- Target Score 700 in 8 Weeks   [#permalink] 06 Mar 2019, 22:22
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