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GMAT prep for one year

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GMAT prep for one year  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2019, 20:21
Hello,

I want to attend a top 11 MBA program and I am starting from scratch. I have always been bad at math due to lack of effort. Soon I will be hiring a tutor to teach me everything from the ground up starting at pre-algebra. I will apply to an MBA program in one year if I can get a high 600 to 700 score. I took the GRE without any prep once and did terrible 140Q 143V. I know I'm capable of the scores I need but I'm wondering the best way to go about it. Any information on how to prepare well over a year would be great. I'm open to anything because I have only read of prep for a few months at a time.

I know I need to get my basics down well before tackling the recent OG book. From there I assume a real prep course would be good. Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you for your time.
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GMAT prep for one year  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2019, 21:11
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top10hopes wrote:
Hello,

I want to attend a top 11 MBA program and I am starting from scratch. I have always been bad at math due to lack of effort. Soon I will be hiring a tutor to teach me everything from the ground up starting at pre-algebra. I will apply to an MBA program in one year if I can get a high 600 to 700 score. I took the GRE without any prep once and did terrible 140Q 143V. I know I'm capable of the scores I need but I'm wondering the best way to go about it. Any information on how to prepare well over a year would be great. I'm open to anything because I have only read of prep for a few months at a time.

I know I need to get my basics down well before tackling the recent OG book. From there I assume a real prep course would be good. Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you for your time.



Hi top10hopes and welcome to Gmat Club,

First of all, I would suggest to take a CAT on mba.com (once registered, you would be entitled to two free mock exams, which are best to judge your current score) to use as your baseline and decide which section you are stronger and work from it. For Quant, follow the link https://gmatclub.com/forum/ultimate-gma ... 44512.html. Here, you really have everything you need. If you feel like you still want online course, try Target Test Prep, they offer 5 day free trial. Else, you can use Egmat Quant (if you opt for it, ping me, I will give you some advices as I, myself used it). As per Verbal, many Gmat aspiratants struggle most with this section, I would recommend to get MGMAT SC book, Power score bible CR book, and per RC just practice many many passages here on GC.
If you start high from Quant, you may also want to use GMAT CLUB TESTS, they are gem, they will help you incredibly much. You can earn points by being helpful to community and later redeem the points to access those tests or you can just purchase them.
Perhaps, this would be my initial suggestion to some new on the GMAT journey.
Happy studying.
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Re: GMAT prep for one year  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2019, 22:37
I believe that you surely need to enroll in an online course or classroom sessions, to increase your score to the 700 level. That said, you should first focus to find your weak areas rather gauge GMAT with just the three-digit score. Focus to find what are your sections scores? What were your sub-sectional scores? Do you find verbal or quant more difficult? I am sure you will achieve upward of 700, with solid preparation and the right strategy. All the best.
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Re: GMAT prep for one year  [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2019, 00:30
top10hopes wrote:
Hello,

I want to attend a top 11 MBA program and I am starting from scratch. I have always been bad at math due to lack of effort. Soon I will be hiring a tutor to teach me everything from the ground up starting at pre-algebra. I will apply to an MBA program in one year if I can get a high 600 to 700 score. I took the GRE without any prep once and did terrible 140Q 143V. I know I'm capable of the scores I need but I'm wondering the best way to go about it. Any information on how to prepare well over a year would be great. I'm open to anything because I have only read of prep for a few months at a time.

I know I need to get my basics down well before tackling the recent OG book. From there I assume a real prep course would be good. Does anyone have any advice?

Thank you for your time.


Hi top10hopes,

Yes, a structured prep course will any day be better. Why don't you explore this course specifically to get your Quant Basics in place?

Any MBA program will value your Quant score as to be part of management you would need good analytical skills.

Give it your best shot. I am sure you can improve your score.

rgds,
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Re: GMAT prep for one year  [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2019, 08:30
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Don't make a mistake thinking that studying for 1 year is better than studying for 3 months. It is not and you will get a higher score by studying for 3 months. It is counter-productive.
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Re: GMAT prep for one year  [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2019, 09:57
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I ended up preparing really long for- for almost one year but that should not be the plan. When I look back, I can say that I could have very well prepared in 3-4 months as well if I referred the correct materials with a correct plan and avoided breaks in my preparation.

It's good that you are planning so well. My suggestion would be that you make a note of the materials you will be referring and a study plan.

Cheers!
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Re: GMAT prep for one year  [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2019, 10:29
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Hi top10hopes,

Since you are just starting out with the GMAT, you should first familiarize yourself with the GMAT and then take an official GMAT practice exam. Your experience taking that test will give you a good idea of what to expect on the GMAT, and the results will serve as a baseline GMAT score. Once you see how far you are from your score goal, you can more easily predict for how long you may need to study. I also wrote a detailed article about how long to study for the GMAT, which you may find helpful.

After completing your initial practice test, you will need to devise a solid preparation plan. Since you’re starting from scratch, you should follow a study plan that allows you to learn linearly, such that you can slowly build GMAT mastery of one topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts. Following such a plan will allow you to methodically build your GMAT quant and verbal skills and ensure that no stone is left unturned.

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 Critical Reasoning question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. 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 Reading Comprehension, 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 answers were always the ones 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 Sentence Correction 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. Since you need quant help, for quant, you should use Target Test Prep, as has already been mentioned. We are the top rated quant course here on GMAT Club and have been able to help test-takers, of all levels, improve their GMAT quant scores.

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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Re: GMAT prep for one year  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2019, 10:42
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Hi top10hopes,

You've given yourself plenty of 'lead time' before you plan to apply to Business School - which is great. You won't necessarily need a full year to study for the GMAT, but you've clearly defined some of your past 'issues' with standardized tests (including "lack of effort" and taking the Official GRE "without any prep") - if you're not willing to do the necessary work to improve, then you probably will not hit your Score Goal.

As far as tutoring is concerned, you might not necessarily need a tutor to learn the essential math skills that you'll need for the Quant section of the GMAT. For free math practice and help, I recommend that you set up an account at Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org). The site is completely free and makes the learning a bit more fun and 'game-like' (as opposed to the dry academic approach taken by most books). While the site is vast, you should limit your studies to basic Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry. After spending a little time (re)building those skills, you can start your GMAT studies.

Once you've completed that general math work, then it would be a good idea to take a FULL-LENGTH practice CAT Test; you can access 2 for free from www.mba.com (and they come with some additional practice materials). If you want to do a bit of practice first, so that you can familiarize yourself with the general content and question types first, then that's fine - but you shouldn't wait too long to take that initial CAT. 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. You can also feel free to contact me directly.

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New post 19 May 2019, 12:53
Thank you all so much for the meaningful replys. I can't thank you enough for getting so in depth for my questions. I feel that after I get my basics back down (using a tutor or Khan Acadamy), I need to look into Target Test Prep for quant. Also I will see about not dragging my study out for a year. It seems that I need 3-4 months of rigourus prep, perhaps. Again thank you all so much and I will be taking your comments into real consideration. But first things first, I need to take the CAT and see where I stand!
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New post 20 May 2019, 18:54
Glad to see that you may use Target Test Prep! Feel free to reach out with any further questions.
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Re: GMAT prep for one year   [#permalink] 20 May 2019, 18:54
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