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GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections

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GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 11:44
Hello,

Disclaimer : After reading below post you will think this person is one of the most confused person in this club :? . But I really need advice regarding GMAT preparation. How to effectively prepare for GMAT. How to manage time for Verbal and Quant sections.

I am preparing for GMAT for about 3-4 weeks now. Initial few days i spent lot of time searching for different classes and online resources for preparation.(Still doing that). Finally joined one of the online source.

But my issue is I am unable to manage my time. I can give 24 hours for preparation in theory(yah if i don't sleep and eat :P) as am into business and can delegate my work to someone else in family for 1-2 months. I am almost giving like 8-10 hours but unable to gain much. In this 2-3 week period i have gained only about 1-2 day knowledge (if we talk about 1 month course plan).

Also i think i am over confident about Quant and think it will be easy for me to prepare for it so focusing more on verbal. But by this, neither i am able to finish verbal lectures nor i am practicing Quant.

Below are my issues/concerns/queries. I will really appreciate if someone can advice me on time management. I have very limited time to prepare for GMAT, about a month.

(My weakness, in between different lectures, i open gmatclub and participate in chat or will keep surfing internet for course reviews. Or just keep looking for better GMAT prep material. I think some of you might be on same boat, like if you are not working in a MNC and you have whole day to yourself)

1. Have joined an online course. If the course study plan says like 30 min for one part of verbal lecture, I take almost 2-3 hours to finish it.

2. Even after taking verbal lectures, I am making basic mistakes, like identifying verbs, clauses, phrases, prepositional phrases(sometimes) etc. I understood about subject verb pairs and when to use a particular tense, but then i make mistake during initial step: during identification of verbs and clauses. Any tip on this part?
In broad sense: how to improve verbal?(Think Most asked question by non-native English Speakers)

3. Unable to divide my preparation time between verbal and Quant. For Verbal m giving whole day but able to learn only about 1-2 hour material. For Quant not giving any time for lectures. Just take 3-4 questions on gmatclub (Those are pretty good no doubt. Have learned a lot of new concepts and shortcuts).

Will update the post with more questions.

Thanks in advance for your help. Any small advice will help.
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Re: GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 13:39
Hi Nikkb,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores. From what you have described, you've been studying for less than a month (and it has not been particularly well-organized. If you're planning to take the GMAT in a month, then there will likely be a limit to how much you can improve during that time. This is meant to say that you might need to push back your Test Date. 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 how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?

Goals:
3) What is your goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 14:28
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Nikkb,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores. From what you have described, you've been studying for less than a month (and it has not been particularly well-organized. If you're planning to take the GMAT in a month, then there will likely be a limit to how much you can improve during that time. This is meant to say that you might need to push back your Test Date. 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 how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?

Goals:
3) What is your goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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



Hello Rich,

Thanks for the reply and offering your help.
I have to join B-school in 2018. (This is the only chance i have). So to apply in R1/R2 i have to take exam by max Mid September i think. That's why i have to plan my studies very carefully and effectively.


Studies:
1) What study materials have you used so far?
- OG just for diagnostic test, few Quant questions and few RCs. Registered for a GMAT Online Course so covered basic verbal till now.
2) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?
- Just took 1 CAT. (1 of the GMATprep tests) Scored 590. Don't know my Quant and verbal score - my Laptop died after a week into preparation :( :( . So don't remember individual scores. But for sure my verbal score was less.

Goals:
3) What is your goal score?
- mostly 730+ (Not sure if its feasible)
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
- Want to join in 2018.
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
- Haven't decided on schools yet. Still have to research on B-school and there offered courses. ( My profile : I an Engineer with technical and business exp)

Regards
Nik
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Re: GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 14:56
Hi Nikkb,

There are a few big "unknowns" here that will greatly impact how you should study going forward (and the specific advice that I would offer you):

1) You really want to apply to Business School soon (upcoming Round 1 or Round 2), but you have not defined which Schools you plan to apply to. Until you have that 'list', we won't know the application deadlines, the type of GMAT score you would need to be considered a 'competitive' applicant or anything else that you'll have to work on (Essays, etc.) to properly apply. You really need to put together that list sometime soon. It's also worth noting that while you may "want" a 730+, you likely do not "need" a 730+ to get into your first-choice Business School.

2) A 590 is a solid initial CAT score (the average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years), but we need to know the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores so that we can better define your strengths and weaknesses (and what you'll need to work on to improve).

3) Your potential study time going forward AND your ability to be efficient with your studies are unclear. From what you describe, your prior studies have been poorly organized and not-particularly effective. Raising a 590 to a 730+ will take some serious effort - and you'll almost certainly need to make big improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. All of that work will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study. This would likely require you to push back your planned Test Date.

Since you're already enrolled in a Course, that course might be enough to help you to improve - but that doesn't change any of the other issues that I've described above. While this whole process can certainly seem complex at times, the reality is that every aspect of it is predictable - so you have to commit to the task(s) involved and give yourself the proper time to succeed.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Re: GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 18:00
Nikkb wrote:
(My weakness, in between different lectures, i open gmatclub and participate in chat or will keep surfing internet for course reviews. Or just keep looking for better GMAT prep material. I think some of you might be on same boat, like if you are not working in a MNC and you have whole day to yourself)

1. Have joined an online course. If the course study plan says like 30 min for one part of verbal lecture, I take almost 2-3 hours to finish it.
It's perfectly fine to take more time than mentioned in the course plan. You should also feel comfortable coming back to certain topics. The important thing with courses, however, is to actually do the work they mention, rather than going around collecting all the material available (and then not using it) :-D
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Re: GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 05:41
[quote="EMPOWERgmatRichC"][/quote]



There are a few big "unknowns" here that will greatly impact how you should study going forward (and the specific advice that I would offer you):
( yes lot of unknowns but thought to get some advice on how to proceed

1) You really want to apply to Business School soon (upcoming Round 1 or Round 2), but you have not defined which Schools you plan to apply to. Until you have that 'list', we won't know the application deadlines, the type of GMAT score you would need to be considered a 'competitive' applicant or anything else that you'll have to work on (Essays, etc.) to properly apply. You really need to put together that list sometime soon. It's also worth noting that while you may "want" a 730+, you likely do not "need" a 730+ to get into your first-choice Business School.
- I thought based on my GMAT score will decide on B-school. I will search on b-schools offering good course for MBA for technical people slowing while preparing for GMAT.

2) A 590 is a solid initial CAT score (the average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years), but we need to know the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores so that we can better define your strengths and weaknesses (and what you'll need to work on to improve).
- Feel good to hear that. I think my Quant will be around Q 45 smething and Verbal 22-25. Just a guess.

3) Your potential study time going forward AND your ability to be efficient with your studies are unclear. From what you describe, your prior studies have been poorly organized and not-particularly effective. Raising a 590 to a 730+ will take some serious effort - and you'll almost certainly need to make big improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. All of that work will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study. This would likely require you to push back your planned Test Date.
- Thanks for the advice. Will try to prepare as much as i can.

Since you're already enrolled in a Course, that course might be enough to help you to improve - but that doesn't change any of the other issues that I've described above. While this whole process can certainly seem complex at times, the reality is that every aspect of it is predictable - so you have to commit to the task(s) involved and give yourself the proper time to succeed.
_ yah course seems good help. But i am unable to follow there 1 month plan... taking approx double of the time just for verbal.

Thanks a lot for your reply. :) :)
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Re: GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2018, 11:32
Nikkb wrote:
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:




There are a few big "unknowns" here that will greatly impact how you should study going forward (and the specific advice that I would offer you):
( yes lot of unknowns but thought to get some advice on how to proceed

1) You really want to apply to Business School soon (upcoming Round 1 or Round 2), but you have not defined which Schools you plan to apply to. Until you have that 'list', we won't know the application deadlines, the type of GMAT score you would need to be considered a 'competitive' applicant or anything else that you'll have to work on (Essays, etc.) to properly apply. You really need to put together that list sometime soon. It's also worth noting that while you may "want" a 730+, you likely do not "need" a 730+ to get into your first-choice Business School.
- I thought based on my GMAT score will decide on B-school. I will search on b-schools offering good course for MBA for technical people slowing while preparing for GMAT.

2) A 590 is a solid initial CAT score (the average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years), but we need to know the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores so that we can better define your strengths and weaknesses (and what you'll need to work on to improve).
- Feel good to hear that. I think my Quant will be around Q 45 smething and Verbal 22-25. Just a guess.

3) Your potential study time going forward AND your ability to be efficient with your studies are unclear. From what you describe, your prior studies have been poorly organized and not-particularly effective. Raising a 590 to a 730+ will take some serious effort - and you'll almost certainly need to make big improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. All of that work will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study. This would likely require you to push back your planned Test Date.
- Thanks for the advice. Will try to prepare as much as i can.

Since you're already enrolled in a Course, that course might be enough to help you to improve - but that doesn't change any of the other issues that I've described above. While this whole process can certainly seem complex at times, the reality is that every aspect of it is predictable - so you have to commit to the task(s) involved and give yourself the proper time to succeed.
_ yah course seems good help. But i am unable to follow there 1 month plan... taking approx double of the time just for verbal.

Thanks a lot for your reply. :) :)


Dividing time correctly between different topics is no doubt a big challenge. It all starts with having a detailed study plan. Said plan will be detailed enough so as not to leave anything to spontaneous decisions - you'll know what you're studying, when.
But how to get such a plan? Some people take courses for primarily this reason, as the structure helps them. But this should also be possible for anyone attempting self-study.
So how to start? I suggest starting off with making yourself a study plan, consisting of these steps:

I would start with these basic steps:
1. Familiarize yourself with the exam – What is the test structure? What are the formats of the questions? Read about it - http://exampal.com/gmat/blog/gmat-everything-wanted-know/
2. Ask yourself: what are all the non-GMAT things you have to do between now and the test day? Be honest with yourself – we are often overly optimistic about how much study time we actually have, and tend to forget things we actually have to do that take away from our study time.
3. I recommend budgeting about 100-120 study hours overall, the recommended amount of time. This is actually less than most people study, but this is enough if you study efficiently (most people don't)
4. Schedule specific times of day for studying when you are both a) available and b) realistically able to focus. It doesn’t help to budget two hours of studying at night if you are completely exhausted after a long day of work.
5. Write down all topics of the test - (all of them!) and order them into your schedule. It's fine to customize your schedule so as to focus more time on topics you think are tricky, but don't skip any topic, and start with the basics (go over the fundamental of geometry before you tackle circles and solids, for example).

6. For each topic, plan a mini-schedule which looks like this:
A) review fundamental material. While doing so, compile two separate lists:
- A summary of the material, if it helps you absorb the subject matter.
- A list of practical tips for question solving.
B) solve subject-related questions.
After each section:
- Review your mistakes. Researching your errors is even more important than solving new questions – Which tools am I using betters than others? What are the main reasons for my mistakes? Which other tools should I learn to apply better? And when it comes to verbal questions, it is also crucial to analyze the answers: why is the correct answer correct? What is wrong with the wrong answers?
- Update practical tips list, based on these mistakes and successes.

Throughout, remember: your goal is to train yourself to find YOUR best solution approach to answering GMAT questions – The GMAT measures your ability to flex your mind. There is often more than one way to get to the correct answer - the trick is figuring out which is that way that is FASTEST for you.

7) What’s left is dividing your time among the different sections in accordance with your situation.
8) In addition to this subject review, create a daily routine of reading magazine articles (preferably economics magazines, popular science, or light social science) and going over your vocabulary lists (taken from the Vocabulary and Memorization section). If you’re a non-native speaker, this part is essential in coping with the Verbal section, and should take up at least 1-1.5 hours daily.

9) the last 10 days before the test should be devoted to taking GMAC CAT's, and reviewing them. Practice test should be used as tools for improvement, not just to see “where I stand,” which means that you should allow 4 hours of research for every test, and not take two tests in one day, one after another, so as to allow yourself some time to strengthen your weaknesses and prepare for your next opportunity to improve.
Here's an article about making the most out of these - http://exampal.com/gmat/blog/make-gmac-mock-tests/

Hope this helps!
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Re: GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2018, 11:35
Nikkb wrote:
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:




There are a few big "unknowns" here that will greatly impact how you should study going forward (and the specific advice that I would offer you):
( yes lot of unknowns but thought to get some advice on how to proceed

1) You really want to apply to Business School soon (upcoming Round 1 or Round 2), but you have not defined which Schools you plan to apply to. Until you have that 'list', we won't know the application deadlines, the type of GMAT score you would need to be considered a 'competitive' applicant or anything else that you'll have to work on (Essays, etc.) to properly apply. You really need to put together that list sometime soon. It's also worth noting that while you may "want" a 730+, you likely do not "need" a 730+ to get into your first-choice Business School.
- I thought based on my GMAT score will decide on B-school. I will search on b-schools offering good course for MBA for technical people slowing while preparing for GMAT.

2) A 590 is a solid initial CAT score (the average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years), but we need to know the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores so that we can better define your strengths and weaknesses (and what you'll need to work on to improve).
- Feel good to hear that. I think my Quant will be around Q 45 smething and Verbal 22-25. Just a guess.

3) Your potential study time going forward AND your ability to be efficient with your studies are unclear. From what you describe, your prior studies have been poorly organized and not-particularly effective. Raising a 590 to a 730+ will take some serious effort - and you'll almost certainly need to make big improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. All of that work will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study. This would likely require you to push back your planned Test Date.
- Thanks for the advice. Will try to prepare as much as i can.

Since you're already enrolled in a Course, that course might be enough to help you to improve - but that doesn't change any of the other issues that I've described above. While this whole process can certainly seem complex at times, the reality is that every aspect of it is predictable - so you have to commit to the task(s) involved and give yourself the proper time to succeed.
_ yah course seems good help. But i am unable to follow there 1 month plan... taking approx double of the time just for verbal.

Thanks a lot for your reply. :) :)


Improvement of Verbal skills is a big and central challenge, especially for non-native English speakers.

The first question is, of course, where you stand to begin with. If your English is fluent and at a high level - great. This will help you a lot going forward. If, on the other hand, English is not your mother tongue and you’re aiming for a very high score, it may make sense for you to start by working exclusively on your language skills before even officially beginning your GMAT study. Read a few books, watch a few movies, maybe even take English classes, and only then begin tackling GMAT materials. My recommendation for non-native speakers is to consider putting in 30 hours more for improving their vocabulary and reading skills, and if they have the time, just start 4-6 weeks before the actual test prep with daily sessions of English improvement.

When strategizing for the exam, however, more than basic skills are important for the Verbal section. It’s just as important to teach yourself the right way to approach each question. Many people, for example, make the mistake of reading all answer choices in all questions; with the clock running, you can’t afford to do this! Many Verbal questions are ones where all the relevant information is in the question itself, and you can use the PRECISE approach to answer the question directly, and avoid becoming confused by the answers. Other questions are those in which there is a general LOGICAL rule that can help answer the question quickly (such as using the logic behind pricing in many Critical Reasoning questions) – reading all answers is a waste of time here as well. Only about a third of the questions are those in which it is necessary or preferable to go over all the answer choices (using the ALTERNATIVE approach). The trick is, of course, figuring out which question is which, and this requires concentrated study, checking not only whether you got the question right, but also whether you did so quickly and efficiently.

Here's an article about improving RC specifically: http://exampal.com/gmat/blog/crush-gmat ... rehension/
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Re: GMAT preparation:How to divide preparation time for different sections   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2018, 11:35
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