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HELP BUILD A 40-DAY STUDY PLAN  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2019, 00:45
Dear GMAT Experts,

I gave a mock from 800score and scored 620 (V37, Q37).
My verbal split is: SC - 73%; RC - 54% and CR - 67%
My quant split is: DS - 63% and PS - 57%

It was a timed test and I attempted it without any preparation. From here, I would like to begin my preparation for the GMAT. I am aiming for about 760-770 score with Q50 and V45. I am looking to sit for the exam in another 40 days, that is by February 10.

- I would like to ask if this time period is enough for the preparation?
- Can the experts please help me build a suitable GMAT prep plan for the same?

Thank you!
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Re: HELP BUILD A 40-DAY STUDY PLAN  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2019, 02:36
goodboyatwork wrote:
Dear GMAT Experts,

I gave a mock from 800score and scored 620 (V37, Q37).
My verbal split is: SC - 73%; RC - 54% and CR - 67%
My quant split is: DS - 63% and PS - 57%

It was a timed test and I attempted it without any preparation. From here, I would like to begin my preparation for the GMAT. I am aiming for about 760-770 score with Q50 and V45. I am looking to sit for the exam in another 40 days, that is by February 10.

- I would like to ask if this time period is enough for the preparation?
- Can the experts please help me build a suitable GMAT prep plan for the same?

Thank you!

Hello goodboyatwork
I find myself in a very similar situation (in terms of current score and exam date).
I'm in no position to give advice on study plan because I don't have a proven score. However I do have a lot of confidence that I'll reach 750+ with the way I'm going.
So till you wait for experts' responses, allow me to share the little that has helped me.

In my opinion, it would help greatly if you can purchase a single online course and stick to it. I strongly recommend e-gmat.
However, should you not go for the purchase, below is a general plan for 40 days:

First: Decide your strength/comfort level (Verbal or Quant)
From what I see, you have a higher than average verbal score.
Hence begin prep with verbal - preferably with SC as a sentence is the smallest fragment of a paragraph (CR) or a passage (RC), and SC is not just about grammar, but about "finding the meaning" and then "eliminating wrong answers". This should help you build a foundation to go on to CR and then RC.

My thoughts on SC, CR and RC:

SC: It's all about understanding meaning of sentence, knowing grammar rules and using them to eliminate options. From your 73% accuracy, I'm sure you can bump it up to 80-85% with 3 days of structured learning and rigorous practise.
I used Manhattan GMAT book for the same, but I've got to be honest, 30% learning for me happened on GMAT Club forums by analyzing errors and reading experts' analyses. If you're purchasing Egmat course, I don't think you'll need anything else (for SC, CR as well as RC) ---> Note: I haven't purchased Egmat verbal course, but I have seen some of their free videos and multiple excellent reviews.

CR: It's about understanding different type of questions (there are 4-5 main types), developing habit of pre-thinking, and eliminating options. I found Manhattan GMAT book really helpful for this. 2 days of understanding different types of Qs and practicing them, and additional 2-3 days of honing the reasoning skills should get you from 67% to at least 80%

RC: I've used MGMAT again and I find RCs naturally easy, especially easier after using the note taking for different paragraphs. I'm not sure how much time you could take to improve your score here, but I'm sure 40 days are enough for improvement to at least 80% here as well.

Move to quant only after achieving accuracy of 85%+ for all 3 topics. Only then you will hit a score of 40+. Also it's a bad idea to do half verbal and then half quant, because you will lose momentum of improving your score from say V35 - V40...and then jump subject and go back to V38... and so on. Instead be thorough with 1 section. Then do next.

My thoughts on Quant:

>>Begin with Number properties as a lot of Quant Qs are from this sub-section:
>>Don't move to other topic till you achieve 80% accuracy in each of 600 level Qs and 700 level Qs in all Number Properties (For your better understanding, under NPs, there's integers, odd/even, Primes, divisibility, remainder theorem, HCF/LCM/factors, statistics, and decimals/rounding. I suggest you to achieve 80% accuracy in each of these before moving to the next ones).
Oh, and do not time yourself when you learn. Timing will improve as you practise more.
P.S: I've improved NP Accuracy from 40% to 75% (for 600 & 700 level Qs) in 15 days. But I'm a math-phobic procrastinator, so I'm sure it will take you lesser time.
>>After NPs, move to Algebra (Linear eq., quadratics, exponents, inequalities). Follow the same process.
>>Then Word Problems.
>>Then Geometry/Co-ordinate Geometry, Probability & Counting Methods.
Basically, you should have a firm grasp on NP and Algebra and very high accuracy here as most questions are from these 2 sections. So in a few days, your confidence level and score will go up once you get these 2 sections right.

Last few days for Mock tests and its evaluation. :)

P.S: Please do go through the link below. It might help - it has some expert's response for a similar question (but different breakup scores) ... 21572.html

Hope this helps. By all means, do consult some experts who have been there done that. :)

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Re: HELP BUILD A 40-DAY STUDY PLAN  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2019, 12:19
Hi goodboyatwork,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you limit yourself to just 40 additional days of study, then there will likely be a limit to how much you can improve.

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. Assuming that this score is an accurate assessment of your current skills, raising a 620 to you can consistently score 760+ will likely require at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. However, the general plan that you have described seems too challenging to be considered realistic.

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:

1) Have you done any studying so far? What study materials have you used?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: HELP BUILD A 40-DAY STUDY PLAN  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2019, 04:38
Hi goodboyatwork,

It is good to see that you have created a baseline for yourself and also want to follow a personalized plan based on your starting and target scores. Following a personalized Study Plan improves your chances of reaching your target score in a lesser amount of time. I would recommend that you go through this article on One Month Study Plan to create your own One Month Personalized Study Plan. If you have any queries while doing so, please feel free to reach out to us at


Everything you need to ace the GMAT and more
Basics of the GMAT
GMAT Exam Strategies
GMAT Study Plans
GMAT Verbal Subject Matter

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Re: HELP BUILD A 40-DAY STUDY PLAN  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 10:23
Hi goodboyatwork,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, although 620 is a good start, you may find it challenging to improve to 760+ in just 40 days. I’m unable to provide an exact study plan, but I can provide some general advice on how to improve your quant and verbal skills. To start, you need to ensure that you are following a structured and linear study plan, so that you can methodically learn GMAT quant and verbal. Furthermore, ensure that your plan allows you to learn each topic individually, starting with the foundations before moving to more advanced concepts.

For example, let’s say 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, 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 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!

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
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Re: HELP BUILD A 40-DAY STUDY PLAN  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2019, 01:50
Hi, goodboyatwork

You got a good score, considering that you took it without any preparation. You should also keep in mind that real score could be a little bit different from the mock test score. As you seem to have a solid foundation of each section and capability, it is possible to raise up to Q50 and V45 in 40 days. But you should spend more than 3 hours a day and review the basics if you figure out any weaknesses. Also, Q49-51 is the highest score and need a concrete strategy. Especially, the hardest DS questions determine a score of Q51. These questions are very time consuming and still hard to get them correct, if you solve them in conventional ways. In our course, these questions are so called "CMT 3,4 (common mistake type). You will be able to practice lots of these CMT 3,4 types of questions determining Q49-51. Math Revolution teaches these questions and their solutions in our own unique, easy ways to find answers in 2 min, not 5-7 min in conventional ways.
Also, refer to this article featured in GMAT Club "How to Achieve Q51" : ... 09801.html

Please let us know if you have further questions.You can reach us at

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Re: HELP BUILD A 40-DAY STUDY PLAN &nbs [#permalink] 08 Jan 2019, 01:50
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