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GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2012, 07:41
Thanks a lot for this post.
Have given GMAT twice
Aug'10 - 580
May'11 - 660 Got into SP Jain Dubai/Singapore course. Almost decided to join it. Paid advance fees too.
But then decided (read compelled by almost everyone around) to not join now, but to give GMAT another shot and see if can touch 700+.

This post was of great help. Should help in streamlining the efforts.

Lets see :)

Cheers
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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2012, 13:38
I really like the tip of memorizing a combinations/permutations practice question for the actual GMAT...I seem to be about 50-50 when it comes to advanced statistics/permutations+combinations questions, so in case of doubt on the GMAT, it would be nice to have a complex question prepped and ready to go. Hopefully, plug-and-chug will be applicable in the even that this happens :wink: .

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2012, 01:51
NIce Post.. Kudos...

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2012, 14:14
Great Post! I am trying to raise my score from 640 to 720. I will try above strategy.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2012, 05:09
thank you. it was really helpful
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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2012, 11:53
Wow...needed this post to pep me up. I am at 650 after 2 attempts and need to get 750 (at least that is what I am targeting!). The error log is one takeaway I am going to apply this time.

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2012, 12:42
Hi,

Recently (11th Aug) I gave GMAT and screwed it big time, 600(Q50, V23)
Rescheduled my test 2 times, first postpone it to 27th Aug as I was in business trip and was not sure of my return dates, second I preponed it to 11th Aug in order to make myself available for R1 applications. All went total waste.

Today, I finished with my TOEFL so from now will concentrate on retaking the GMAT.
However, I have not devised any strategy yet. But, I am thinking of a few things. Please provide your opinion about it.

Quant:
I (or event everyone) consider 50 a good score. I improved a lot during my studies, even though I spent hardly 15 days on this section.
Now, since I exhausted all OG book questions (OG13 and Quant review), I wonder what could be a better source to practice or be in touch with questions.
I will follow the following things for this section for my 2nd attempt:
-- OG13 and Quant review again
-- MGMAT books again
Any other suggestion is most welcome. I will try for perfect score this time

Verbal:
The biggest hole in my preparation last time. In real test I think the strategy which I devised for this section didn't work well. I would equally blame my preparation for this disaster. Btw, I never scored more than 35 in any mocks (except for 4th GMATPrep retake where I scored 40).

What I read for 1st attempt:
-- SC: MGMAT SC, SC Grail
-- CR: Powerscore CR bible
-- RC: the weakest section of all for me. Started with RC 99, did not find much improvement. Then, tried my hands on MGMAT RC book followed by OG questions.
-- Practice material: Earlier started answering questions posted in GMATClub, then did OG13 and Verbal review(both twice, with maintaining error logs)

What to follow now for retake??? Need real help.
-- Doing OG is obvious
-- Reading SC, CR books again
-- Now, thinking of attempting LSAT questions, don't know it would be a good idea or not
-- As bb said, some classes give score improvement guarantee, don't feel like joining any such course but considering my target of breaking 700 barrier this time, I can think of something good here.

I am thinking of retaking the test at mid-October, hoping that it will be OK for R2 applications.

Thanks!
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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2012, 10:17
HI,

I am currently averaging around 2:30 seconds in CR which is almost a minute higher than the target time of 1:30 seconds as suggested in the forum.I have not started doing SC and i am weak at that so i know i could not even save time in SC.Dcent at RC so i tend to complete them in standard time.Any suggestion to improve CR timings.CR accuracy is 83% approx(OG Material).Or should i wait and first gauge my SC and RC timings and then ask accordingly?

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2012, 07:11
could not expect anything better .. thanks a lot for the strategy..

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2012, 02:25
great article.. it was very helpful.. thanks bb

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2012, 19:00
First, thanks for the excellent guide, bb.

About a year ago, I took the GMAT and scored a 650. If I recall correctly, I had a 41V/39Q. I have always been stronger in verbal than math and that test was not the exception; still, I was disappointed because I was consistently scoring in the 720 range on the GMAT prep tests and in the 650 range on Kaplan (which was equivalent to a 720 based on GMAT Club's predictor).

I plans on taking the test again in about 2.5 months. I plan on taking 6-7 CATs (Kaplan/MGMAT/GMAT prep) and will use the off days to practice problems, mostly quant with some Verbal thrown in there every other day. My question is, what is the best way to incorporate the difficult questions into my study plan? Right now. I plan on doing about 20 questions per day from official guide, Official quant, and Kaplan and then 5 difficult questions from MGMAT advanced quant or from the forums. At some point I'd like to transition to the MAT club tests but I'm just not sure when that makes the most sense.

Thanks.

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2012, 10:21
Good post bb, too bad though all of the recommended study materials are that expensive...

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2013, 01:12
thank you....

any thoughts on Kaplan Premier verbal section.
I found out that it was good.. However, if you specifically recommend MGMAT/ Powerscore, I will take efforts to get them solved...

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2013, 01:45
I have a four month preperation ahead and this was helpful for me. Already hold 650 and I am looking for breaking 700.

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2013, 06:51
Great advice.... Really helped my get from my 670 to a 720.... Maybe hopefully some of my more ambitious schools will now give my application a second look.
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New post 20 Jan 2014, 06:24
Hope to nail the gmat with this plan. Thanks BB

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2014, 02:44
Hey,
I just took my GMAT official exam 2 weeks back and I got a very disappointing score of 600. I was doing really well in my mock exams. I would have taken almost 15 mock exams, and I managed to score consistently between 670-710 in the last 5 of them. I used to be comfortable with my quant section, but struggle a little with verbal. But I thought I managed to raise my verbal to a decent level, but failed on the exam day and got a mere 24. I think I have covered enough materials and went through almost every concept. I am clueless how my score went this low. My quant score on the exam was 49.
I am planning to give my exam soon. Can I have advice on for when I should schedule my exam, how I should prepare, which would be the best online course option for me and all of that. Hoping to get an advice soon.

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2014, 02:08
About a month back i took my GMAT and got a dismal 650.
I was scoring above the 650mark on an average in all the MGMATs and the GMAT Prep.On top of that I forgot to check my Quant score when the scores got displayed.I was so disappointed by the 650 that i did not even bother looking at it.
I saw my VA and it was 30,which is really poor as I was constantly hitting the 37-38 mark in all the prep tests.Now,judging by my score of overall 650 and VA 30 can someone here please tell me approximately how much I could have got in QA.A range would also help me a lot as I would then be able to figure out how badly i performed on Test day in QA.
I know its a very strange request,but would be of immense help to me.
Thanks!

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2014, 08:26
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This post was
BOOKMARKED
bb wrote:

Get Over the 700 Hump GMAT Study Plan


Improvement: 50 points
Concept: you are at 670 or above and want to get the magic 700+ score
Recommended for: Top 10 applicants, GMAT score junkies and perfectionists
Minimum GMATPrep Score: 650
Study Time: 1-2 months

Other Study Plans:

Study Plan for those who are just starting out
Ultimate Verbal Study Plan
GMAT Pill 1 Month Study Plan


Before we start this Study Plan, I would like to point out that the average GMAT score is 550 and as a 650+ scorer, you have alredy reached an above-average result. If you want to improve it and go beyond 700, several options are available to you but none are quick and easy. This plan assumes that you are very familiar with the test and have gone through a number of prep books. This plan is not for newbies or those looking to start their prep Fresh.


First let's take a look at the root of the problem - reasons for getting stuck at below the 700 level:
  • Gaps in fundametals of math, grammar and logic, English language profficiency, often resulting in unbalanced score
  • Poor timing/test taking skills
  • Lack of knowledge of advanced topics


Study Plan Option 1: Self Prep


General Strategy:
Chances are, you have probably gone through a lot of test prep material and may have covered all the staples of GMAT Prep books. (If not, definitely familiarize yourself with those).

Before we even start - make sure you use an Error Log - it is a tool that is indispensable and must be used! The concept is that you keep track of all mistakes (or possibly all questions) that you have covered. BUT, you are not just keeping track of these questions, you are also printing them out, or copying, or marking them and come back later on to attempt them again. A good approach is to cover the entire book/test/section before coming back to the questions you have either missed or guessed - remember that for a 700+ score, there is no guessing and if you were lucky on your home test, you may not be at the test center.

If your timing is poor, there are several recommendations to improve timing on the GMAT:



Quant Section:
If you are continuing to miss arithmetic questions or are plagued with silly mistakes - perhas a good review of basics will help. Until recently there has not been a good math review book really, but today 2 options are available that could be covered within a few days:
1. Kaplan Math Foundations - this book starts out very basic but you can always skip the first few sections and find your level.
2. Kaplan Math Workbook - good practice as well but assumes a certain level of proficiency

If you feel that you need a good coverage of advanced topics such as Probability, Combinations, etc you can also get either of the two recommendations above - both cover them. Another alternative is to look into Jeff Sackman's Math Prep PDF - there have been positive comments about this document but it is pricey. However, most test takers at this stage can improve their score via question practice. For tests, the best recommendation is the GMAT Club tests which are specifically designed to go from 45 to 50+ quant score. They are free if you have 200 posts on the forum or you can also buy access to 1000+ questions for $79. You can read a number of testimonials of 700+ scorers here.

For tougher questions - such as overlaping sets, probability and combinations - make sure that you understand how to solve these questions and you can actually solve them in 2 minutes. If you can't - follow this approach: memorize an example from a GMAT Book. Memorize the exact words for the problem, the exact solution, solution and the final answer. Then, when you encounter these questions, write out the memorized problem and solution from memory and use that model to plug the numbers in. Many Math questions are very much template driven, and this approach works great and you will never have to use your energy to solve them.

Other Optional Materials:
Kaplan Advanced - has some good 600-700 level questions
Princeton Review 1012 - has a good compilation of categorized GMAT questions - use your error log to determine which questions to practice - don't waste time on all of them


Verbal Section:
For the verbal section there are the usual suspects - MGMAT CR/PowerScore CR, MGMAT SC/PowerScore SC, and MGMAT RC. If you have not used these books - do get one for each section. Both Manhattan GMAT and PowerScore are good books to use.

There are several plans of attack for Verbal and you need to make sure you have one. When you go in to take the test, you must know exactly how you plan to answer each question type, how much time you can afford to spend on each, and when it is time to move on.

My personal strategy was to spend 45 seconds on SC's (read question once, identify the problem, phrase it in my mind, and find the correct answer that matched the one I made up). Usually I could hit these in 30-45 seconds and in 20% of cases needed as much as a minute and a half. I would spend 1:30 on each CR question. I could crack half of them in 30-45 seconds but the other half took closer to 2 minutes, so it was averaging about 1:30. All of this was building up towards the section I had the most problems with - reading comprehension. I knew that I needed 45 x 15 for SC's, 1:30 x 14 for CR's and that left 40 minutes for RC, which meant I could spend 10 minutes per passage. I would read the passage very carefully and spend probably 5-6 minutes doing and not feeling rushed as I knew I could read any passage in that period of time. After finishing the text, I knew I had 1 minute for each question so I did not need to rush either. On the Verbal, I did not really keep track of the clock when moving from question to question, but I would note the time when I start the RC passage and made sure I did not go over the alotted time by the end.

Again - use your error log for the verbal section. If you are struggling with a particular section - attac that section. Here are suggestions for each:

Critical Reasoning: The only way to get good in CR is to use one of the MGMAT CR or Powerscore CR guidebooks if you have gone through them and still feel weak - get PR 1012 book - it organizes questions in topical format and great for practicing Assumption or Weaken questions - make sure you note any question that you miss or guessed. These are your own personal "Hard Question" collection. Also, if you are an international student and encounter a word you don't know in a CR question - make sure you write it down and learn it.

Reading Comprehension: One of the hardest areas to overcome for many international students. Usually the weakness comes from very scientific or specialized texts that use rare words many international students never encountered. There is no easy solution to this unfortunately except to train your ear reading harder and more stimulating literature than found today on the web. Some recommend reading The Economist or Scientific articles. My recommendation is actually the opposite of that - read interesting fiction that will keep your attention and will motivate you to read as much as possible (rather than boring you with some biology). I call it GMAT Fiction - a compilation of interesting books that have great stimulating language and good grammar. See my post on GMAT Fiction about the advantages of reading a few thousand pages before taking GMAT.

Sentence Correction: If you are weak in English grammar, there are a few things you can do to improve - 1) Get a good grammar book. i can recommend either Kaplan Verbal Foundations (pretty good but not as complete as I would like it to be) or the Doing Grammar book that has been recommended by a few high verbal scorers. 2) Read a lot - by reading you will start to train your ear to pick up something a grammar book cannot teach you - style. Style questions are the harder verbal questions on the GMAT and the easiest way to pick them out is to train your ear reading good quality English Fiction - take a look at my GMAT Fiction recommendations or feel free to pick out your own.


Option 2: Class/Tutoring


Enrol with a test-prep company that guarantees XX point improvement or provides money back. The only two I know that do that is Knewton and GMAT Pill (50 point improvement or money back - doublecheck it though) Both are online, so you can take it from any location, at your own pace and schedule. If you score higher than 700 - you got what you wanted. If you don't, at least you don't have to pay for it, so you "win" both ways. There is a 7-day trial, so recommend you give it a shot either way. (To learn more about Knewton and see what other GMAT club members had to say about the class, see this post: knewton-live-online-gmat-course-85519.html. For more information about GMAT Pill's method, visit this post: gmat-pill-discount-save-110700.html). This is the recommended path for those who took gmat twice and still have not gotten to their target score - save your time and effort - take a class - probably a better experience overall at this point.



Nice post bb
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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2014, 00:33
DebWenger wrote:
About a month back i took my GMAT and got a dismal 650.
I was scoring above the 650mark on an average in all the MGMATs and the GMAT Prep.On top of that I forgot to check my Quant score when the scores got displayed.I was so disappointed by the 650 that i did not even bother looking at it.
I saw my VA and it was 30,which is really poor as I was constantly hitting the 37-38 mark in all the prep tests.Now,judging by my score of overall 650 and VA 30 can someone here please tell me approximately how much I could have got in QA.A range would also help me a lot as I would then be able to figure out how badly i performed on Test day in QA.
I know its a very strange request,but would be of immense help to me.
Thanks!

Ok,I did get an idea about my quant score finally.
Now,I plan to retake the GMAT in about 3 weeks time and I target to complete 5-6 mocks before taking the actual test.Hopefully it wil help me to go past 700 from my current 650.
But while taking the GMAT i had exhausted all of my MGMATs.So for retaking the GMAT could someone please suggest some decent mock CATs.
Waiting for your valuable suggestions.
:thanks

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Re: GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2014, 00:33

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