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Getting Started

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Joined: 26 Feb 2008
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Getting Started [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2008, 10:42
Hi everyone,

I've spent a great number of hours scouring this forum and reading everyone's experiences, trying to develop my own plan off attack. I hate to ask questions on topics that have already been covered, but despite searching through this forum, I'm still confused.

I've decided that I'm going to dedicate myself over the next three months to studying and ultimately beating this GMAT. As a little background, I read a Kaplan book very briefly about a month ago (approximately 15 hours total) just to get an idea of what the test was about. At the end of this, I took a GMAT Prep test scoring a 560 (29 - Q, 38 - V, if I recall correctly). I know that I can get the elusive 700 with the right preparation, it seems like a very beatable exam. I do best studying on my own, I did it throughout College and performed well, as well as on the CPA exam, which I was able to pass on the first try. With that said, I've begun to accumulate my study materials which include the OG 11th edition, OG Verbal Supplement, OG Quant Supplement, Princeton Review - Cracking the GMAT, and Manhattan GMAT SC. I will likely use more prep materials which will include the Club Challenges, this forum, and possibly some other books. The problem I'm dealing with right now is how to get started. I was thinking to just start with the OG 11th edition and working my way through it, and then start to tailor my approach based on my strengths/weaknesses. Does that sound reasonable, or is there a better to get started? I already know that I'm weak in SC and DS, so these will be areas to focus on. Also, at what point should I be tailoring my study program? I've allowed myself a solid 12 weeks of studying, where I plan on doing 2 hours a night (weekdays) and 12-16 hours over the weekends. I think that once I get started the plan will become much clearer, but for now my head is pulling me in a 1,000 different directions. Any help, including to former posts that I may have glossed over, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Re: Getting Started [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2008, 11:32
Welcome to the club and good luck.

I suggest that you save the OG until you are confident with some of the major concepts. You can figure out the major concepts from books like MGMAT SC Guide, GMAT PowerScore CR Bible, Kaplan 800, and a few others (I listed them in my preference). I like Kaplan, and Princeton Review and some of the others, but I think they try to "dumb it down" so that more people will buy their books. Naturally, it's a smaller % of people that are capable of 700+ so if they focus something on that group, they're limiting their niche audience. The OG11, especially the last 1/3 of the book is supposed to be the most difficult questions. I didn't realize this until AFTER I retook my GMAT, but oh well....They're like a good wine. You don't want to dive into it until you/it's ready.

Once you know that you have the fundamentals down, which it sounds like should not take long for you if you passed the CPA exams the first try (kudo's to you for that. A friend of mine at PwC is taking them now. Says they're a B!tch.)
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**I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

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Re: Getting Started [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2008, 11:55
Soon after I posted that, I started thinking along the lines of what you posted. After all, how can one practice without knowing what the concepts are. I'm sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but where are your preferences listed? I'm not exactly sure where to find them.

Thanks for the kudos on the CPA exam. I put it in there to qualify myself to some degree, since there's so many heavy hitters here. It was kind of a dopey thing to do.

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Re: Getting Started [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2008, 12:42
Sorry, I didn't make my self clear. I listed them in order of my preference.

"MGMAT SC Guide, GMAT PowerScore CR Bible, Kaplan 800, and a few others"

Going back and reading what I wrote it didn't make sense to me either! Don't worry about the heavy hitters on here. I am an attorney and am worried that people view it not as "Oh, he's also an attorney." but "Why can't he figure out what in the world he wants to do?"

emaichbe03 wrote:
Soon after I posted that, I started thinking along the lines of what you posted. After all, how can one practice without knowing what the concepts are. I'm sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but where are your preferences listed? I'm not exactly sure where to find them.

Thanks for the kudos on the CPA exam. I put it in there to qualify myself to some degree, since there's so many heavy hitters here. It was kind of a dopey thing to do.

_________________

------------------------------------
J Allen Morris
**I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings

Kudos [?]: 623 [0], given: 32

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Re: Getting Started [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2008, 16:17
It appears as if there isn't any solid "starter" math concepts books. I often see the OG referred to, as well as the Club challenges, but not a "starter" quant guide. Am I correct in saying that? Or do books like the Kaplan 800 and Princeton Review cover the basics well enough?

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Re: Getting Started [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2008, 17:05
I would get Kaplan Premier 2009 w/CD tests. they kind of dumb it down, as in most questions are under 700 level, and their scoring system is off, but I like the tests. They have specialized computer tests, like 6 for PS and 3 for DS, SC, RC, and CR. I spent like a week on all of these each, specializing the entire week to understand the way the questions are formed and the best way, for me, to answer them. Then I spent like a month and a half just taking practice CAT tests (full length to simulate the actual GMAT) to familiarize myself with the length involved and setup of the GMAT and to build mental endurance. It worked out pretty well for me (700 45Q 41V), and if you read the "my rather unconventional approach to GMAT prep" or sth like that thread I have a full explanation of what I did and what I used. I wouldn't whip out the big guns like Kaplan 800 or anything until you have the basics firmly down. It is a pretty beatable test, the key is just preparation and mental endurance.

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Re: Getting Started [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2008, 11:12
I think I'm starting to lean toward taking the 9-week MGMAT online course. There appears to be a lot of positive reviews about it on this site and it will offer the structure I'm searching for. Don't get me wrong though, I plan on supplementing it with all of the suggestions that have been provided here (Club Challenges, Powerscore CR Bible, etc.).

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Re: Getting Started [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2008, 11:14
That's probably a good idea. Are you planning to apply Fall of 2009 for 2010 matriculation?
emaichbe03 wrote:
I think I'm starting to lean toward taking the 9-week MGMAT online course. There appears to be a lot of positive reviews about it on this site and it will offer the structure I'm searching for. Don't get me wrong though, I plan on supplementing it with all of the suggestions that have been provided here (Club Challenges, Powerscore CR Bible, etc.).

_________________

------------------------------------
J Allen Morris
**I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings

Kudos [?]: 623 [0], given: 32

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Joined: 26 Feb 2008
Posts: 16

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 0

Re: Getting Started [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2008, 11:59
[quote="jallenmorris"]That's probably a good idea. Are you planning to apply Fall of 2009 for 2010 matriculation?[quote]

I would say that it would be Fall of 2010, at the earliest. I want to take the GMAT sooner rather than later since I know that I will have more and more time constraints as the years go by. I'm not 100% certain that I even want to go to B-school, but I know that if I don't take the GMAT when I have the chance, I'll regret it for the rest of my life. It may sound somewhat backwards since many people are pretty certain that they'd like to go to B-school and then they shift their focus to the GMAT.

I don't know, maybe I'm giving myself an 'out' if I don't score well so I can just say, "Welllllll, I didn't really want to go anyway". I know that right now I feel pretty determined to kick the GMAT's a$$, but having a B-school in mind would probably only help to keep me motivated. I guess that's a whole different issue......

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Re: Getting Started   [#permalink] 27 Aug 2008, 11:59
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