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New post 31 Mar 2019, 13:55
Hi everyone,

After some months of thought I have decided that B-school is for me. I am wondering where I should get started? I did the mock GMAT exam from MBA.com and scored higher than I ever expected, so now I am wondering what to do. What are the best prep programs to buy? What should I do to prepare? Is there anything I should know before I start studying?

If this is a common question please direct me to it. Thanks!
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 18:26
Hi mbh67,

Starting off with a practice CAT/mock was a smart choice - that Score will give us a sense of your current strengths and weaknesses and what you might need to work on going forwards. Before we can discuss how you might proceed with your studies, I have a few questions about your timeline and goals:

1) How did you score on this CAT (including the Quant and Verbal scaled Scores)?
2) What is your goal score?
3) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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New post 31 Mar 2019, 19:52
mbh67 wrote:
Hi everyone,

After some months of thought I have decided that B-school is for me. I am wondering where I should get started? I did the mock GMAT exam from MBA.com and scored higher than I ever expected, so now I am wondering what to do. What are the best prep programs to buy? What should I do to prepare? Is there anything I should know before I start studying?

If this is a common question please direct me to it. Thanks!
It's a very common question. :) You could take a look at this post to get started.
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 22:55
mbh67 wrote:
I did the mock GMAT exam from MBA.com and scored higher than I ever expected

Congratulations! Generally it happens the other way round :|
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Sentence Correction Nirvana available on Amazon.in and Flipkart

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New post 01 Apr 2019, 01:56
1
This post may help you.

Best Books

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 2015-19
The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review 2015-19
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2015-19


Best Courses (Budget)

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


Strategy

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

mbh67 wrote:
Hi everyone,

After some months of thought I have decided that B-school is for me. I am wondering where I should get started? I did the mock GMAT exam from MBA.com and scored higher than I ever expected, so now I am wondering what to do. What are the best prep programs to buy? What should I do to prepare? Is there anything I should know before I start studying?

If this is a common question please direct me to it. Thanks!

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New post Updated on: 01 Apr 2019, 18:12
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi mbh67,

Starting off with a practice CAT/mock was a smart choice - that Score will give us a sense of your current strengths and weaknesses and what you might need to work on going forwards. Before we can discuss how you might proceed with your studies, I have a few questions about your timeline and goals:

1) How did you score on this CAT (including the Quant and Verbal scaled Scores)?
2) What is your goal score?
3) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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



1. That is a story. I took 3 tests. The first one I took a xanax for anxiety, and epic failed the verbal section, so of course I wondered why I scored 33rd percentile. I scored Q45 in math. Xanax was for sure the reason for verbal, I have focus issues with it. So of course I retook, but this time I took breaks and didn't know you shouldn't. Fail again. I scored 66th percentile in Verbal though, a huge improvement. I didn't take the Q section this time, as all I cared about was verbal. Finally, the third and final time, I scored 81st percentile verbal, or V36 and again Q45, or 57th percentile in math, making sure to take no breaks but the small one in-between sections. That is higher than I ever thought, netting me a 670 score basically cold. I know that is funny I forked over money but I really wanted to know where I was at. I should add that I had maybe 20 or 30 questions of practice for verbal in the CR section, just to see how good I was. I didn't do much SC or RC at all, maybe a question or two. I also took a lot of quant questions in PS because I love math and wanted to see what kind of animal I was getting myself into. Overall that is 5-7 hours of problems, with very little of it in verbal. Of course that involves no formal preparation, just something fun to do and figure out.

2. My goal score is 740-760, as other people have told me that is attainable with what I have. 780 even if I really bust my rear rend, although that is a fairytale at that point for me.

3. I have all the time in the world, I recently graduated and am seeking employment. So maybe in 6 months to a year? I want to put in 300 hours of studying to score as high as possible. I was a math major with an emphasis in economics. I was debating getting a masters then a PHD in math for awhile but eventually decided business is for me.

4. I will apply once I am finished with 1-2 years of full-time work. I have heard this is almost necessary to be competitive.

Originally posted by mbh67 on 01 Apr 2019, 17:21.
Last edited by mbh67 on 01 Apr 2019, 18:12, edited 2 times in total.
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New post 01 Apr 2019, 17:22
EducationAisle wrote:
mbh67 wrote:
I did the mock GMAT exam from MBA.com and scored higher than I ever expected

Congratulations! Generally it happens the other way round :|



It happened the other way around at first! But I was on Xanax, which severely impaired my verbal skills. The final time I took the mock exam it went my way hehe
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New post 01 Apr 2019, 19:24
Hi mbh67,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. You successfully completed the first step by taking a practice test to get a baseline score. Your next step is to lay out a sound and thorough study plan. Ideally, you want to follow a linear study plan that allows you to start with the foundations and progress to more advanced topics. By following a structured and methodical approach, you can ensure that you master each topic individually as you move through GMAT quant and verbal. Let me expand on this idea further.

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 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, you likely 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 this article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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New post 01 Apr 2019, 20:08
Hi mbh67,

To start, studying for the GMAT now - well in advance of when you'll actually "need" your Score - is a smart choice. If you can commit to working through a consistent, guided Study Plan, then you wouldn't necessarily need 6-12 months of study (you could potentially be ready in 3 months or maybe less depending on how well you improve).

I have a few follow-up questions based on your last post:

1) When you say you took 3 CATs, which 3 are you talking about? Was it 3 different ones (for example, the two free CATs from mba.com and one of the CATs from Exam Pack 1 - which you would have had to pay for)? Did you take any of those CATs more than once?

2) Do you regularly take Xanax or was that more of an 'experimental' to try to calm down before you took that CAT?

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New post 01 Apr 2019, 21:00
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi mbh67,

To start, studying for the GMAT now - well in advance of when you'll actually "need" your Score - is a smart choice. If you can commit to working through a consistent, guided Study Plan, then you wouldn't necessarily need 6-12 months of study (you could potentially be ready in 3 months or maybe less depending on how well you improve).

I have a few follow-up questions based on your last post:

1) When you say you took 3 CATs, which 3 are you talking about? Was it 3 different ones (for example, the two free CATs from mba.com and one of the CATs from Exam Pack 1 - which you would have had to pay for)? Did you take any of those CATs more than once?

2) Do you regularly take Xanax or was that more of an 'experimental' to try to calm down before you took that CAT?

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


Great, good to know!

1. I took the two free CATs from mba.com and one of the CATS from Exam Pack 1 (I assume that is what the extra 2 exams you can buy are called, called Official Practice Exam 3 and Exam 4) also from mba.com, which yes I did pay for. I did not take any more than once, as that would lead to a huge skew of my score. So yes 3 different exams, all of them not done more than the one time I took them.



2. I regularly take the drug, which I had been taking for about 3 months, but this was definitely experimental, as I had not tried any verbal exams with Xanax. The final semester of my schoolwork was done with some Xanax for math exams only, so I assumed it would not do much to hinder me. I was clearly quite wrong with verbal. There is a long explanation for the Xanax, which I will not explain unless you need me too, but in general I take medication for focus because I need it and the Xanax clearly undoes this focus medication completely with reading, as I have seen after using it for awhile. My father warned me about this, telling me how it makes me duller. I did not listen. Without the focus medication working as intended by my doctor I really am very poor at most intellectual topics, besides math, to my knowledge. The focus medication is completely different than Xanax, and is used to treat my neurological condition.
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New post 02 Apr 2019, 12:45
Hi mbh67,

To maximize your performance on Test Day, you'll have to be really rigorous and detail-oriented about making each of your CATs 'match up' with what you'll face on Test Day (and part of your training leading up to the Exam should include defining how best to incorporate the medications that you described - re: how much of a dose and exactly when to take them). You have plenty of time to figure all of that out though - which is good.

Based on your Score Goal, you'll have to make some improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Based on your timeframe, you're not in any particular 'rush', but there are ways to approach your studies that are more efficient than others, so you can decide how you'd prefer to study at this point. Are you looking for a Course of some type or are you more interested in easing into your studies with some book-work (with the idea of maybe using a more structured Course later on)?

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New post 02 Apr 2019, 14:23
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi mbh67,

To maximize your performance on Test Day, you'll have to be really rigorous and detail-oriented about making each of your CATs 'match up' with what you'll face on Test Day (and part of your training leading up to the Exam should include defining how best to incorporate the medications that you described - re: how much of a dose and exactly when to take them). You have plenty of time to figure all of that out though - which is good.

Based on your Score Goal, you'll have to make some improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Based on your timeframe, you're not in any particular 'rush', but there are ways to approach your studies that are more efficient than others, so you can decide how you'd prefer to study at this point. Are you looking for a Course of some type or are you more interested in easing into your studies with some book-work (with the idea of maybe using a more structured Course later on)?

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


I see. I am on a proper dose of the focus medication and it works really well, but for sure will not be using Xanax for any exams at this point. I will definitely make sure I am detail oriented and very rigorous, but by 'match up' do you mean analyze and improve my errors? I am uncertain as to what you mean.

Absolutely, I understand that I will need to improve. I am looking for a course and book-work, both I feel would help. But first, to get started, some book-work would be best.

Edit: I should mention that I know a lot about math, but some topics are in statistics and that is where I typically fail. I do not remember that as well. I will need to study that hard for sure.
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New post 03 Apr 2019, 21:07
Hi mbh67,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. For example, you won't be taking your CATs at home - you have to travel to a Test Facility and take your Exam on a desktop computer. To properly train for Test Day, you have to plan to incorporate those details into how you take your CATs.

Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level. Even the best books are limited in what they can teach you; they also can't force you to approach questions in a certain way and their explanations are often one-sided. However, you can start off with some books before committing to a more structured Study Plan. The Manhattan Book Sets are fairly popular, so you might want to start off with those. I suggest that you study as you see fit for the next month, then take a NEW, FULL-LENGTH CAT - and do so 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.

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 13:00
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi mbh67,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. For example, you won't be taking your CATs at home - you have to travel to a Test Facility and take your Exam on a desktop computer. To properly train for Test Day, you have to plan to incorporate those details into how you take your CATs.

Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level. Even the best books are limited in what they can teach you; they also can't force you to approach questions in a certain way and their explanations are often one-sided. However, you can start off with some books before committing to a more structured Study Plan. The Manhattan Book Sets are fairly popular, so you might want to start off with those. I suggest that you study as you see fit for the next month, then take a NEW, FULL-LENGTH CAT - and do so 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.

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


Ah I see. I will definitely do that, maybe I will use a local library, as my laptop is broken. Maybe I can borrow my brother's laptop, he lives nearby. I will also make sure I take it a the proper time.

I see how just one routine of study may lead to diminishing returns and finally a plateau. That is why I wanted to do both book study and a course. I just want to start out first, though. I still insist on studying a full 300 hours, more or less, to maximize my score, so I will be likely taking a course after the book work. I will take the last exam in my exam pack after 70-100 hours and see how I do. I will be sure to take IR and the Essay section, which I admit I skipped on my most recent CAT because I just wanted to know Quant and Verbal. First of all, though, I am going to take the CBEST test for being a substitute teacher in California. Studying for that will be 2 weeks, my whole family tells me it is easy, but I don't want to jinx it and will prepare anyways. After that I will get studying. I want to take the test after 70-100 hours by the way because I only have 3 CAT's left and think I should take one at 100 hours, 200 hours, and 300 hours, to measure my progress. So that will be around 2 months total probably.

Thanks very much for the guidance I really appreciate it.
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New post 06 Jun 2019, 17:56
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi mbh67,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. For example, you won't be taking your CATs at home - you have to travel to a Test Facility and take your Exam on a desktop computer. To properly train for Test Day, you have to plan to incorporate those details into how you take your CATs.

Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level. Even the best books are limited in what they can teach you; they also can't force you to approach questions in a certain way and their explanations are often one-sided. However, you can start off with some books before committing to a more structured Study Plan. The Manhattan Book Sets are fairly popular, so you might want to start off with those. I suggest that you study as you see fit for the next month, then take a NEW, FULL-LENGTH CAT - and do so 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.

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

Congratulations! Generally it happens
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Re: Getting started   [#permalink] 06 Jun 2019, 17:56
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