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Help Needed. Am i in the right path?

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Joined: 22 Mar 2017
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New post 24 Dec 2018, 08:14
Hello Guys,

Sorry for the long post ahead, and i would need some help with the GMAT and preparation

I did my Bachelor of Commerce in the year 2012, and and i have a work experience of close to 5 years. I have Banking operations experience, and I am currently working at standard chartered Bank.

I have scheduled my Gmat exam on April 20th. I want to do an MBA or Masters, probably in Canada.

My target score is 650+. I wrote my mock test from and secured a 490. I am not a bright student, and 650 feels like a giant leap for me. I would honestly be happy with a score about 620. I studied Math last in my school, and GMAT math looks so difficult to me.

I have OG 2018, and few other materials(Crackverbal books). Is it possible to score a 650 plus by the time i take GMAT? I am planning to dedicate 2-3 hours every day for the GMAT preparation.

I am also looking at suggestion of business schools for my profile. I have shortlisted Canada based on their friendly visa policy, however could you kindly suggest other countries and other business schools?

Thanks in advance.

Joined: 12 Jul 2018
Posts: 65
Location: India
Schools: ISB '20, NUS '21
GMAT 1: 420 Q26 V13
GMAT 2: 540 Q44 V21
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New post 24 Dec 2018, 09:53
Hi Prachu1991

Welcome to the GMAT Club. Before I begin let me be honest - I am not an expert; maybe I am in the same boat as you ;)

First things first, Yes a 650+ is very much achievable for you. Almost 80% of students like you and me always start with sub 500 score so IT IS OKAY to start so low - YES you can achieve a 650 starting from your 490 or in that case any low score.

Right material and right practice is just what you need.
I will highly recommend to go through this post -

For Quant you can download the free gmat math book by Bunuel ... 40445.html

For Verbal start with OG and once you are done check the accuracy and timing/ if its still below 80% accuracy then go through more books (OR there are TONS of questions here on GMAT/ practice from here)
For Verbal (SC & overall) do download the GMAT Club Grammar Book.

Making a plan is more important than anything else. Also if you feel verbal is not a stronghold area (and since you have 5 months to go for your GMAT) I feel you have ample of amount of time do read non GMAT verbal stuff too
Check here ... bal-score/

Ping me if you still have any queries - Let's ace the GMAT together :)
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New post 24 Dec 2018, 11:24
Hi Prashanth,

In a prior post, you noted that you had scored 500 on the Official GMAT when you took it in June, 2017. Since that was about 1.5 years ago, have you done any significant study since then? I assume that you have not, so this recent CAT Score is not too surprising (you are likely 'responding' to the GMAT in the same ways that you did before). Thankfully, the GMAT is the same consistent, predictable Exam that it has always been - and you've given yourself plenty of time to study - which is good. That having been said, raising a 490 to a 650+ 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.

From what you describe, you're planning for a 'book heavy' study plan. Many Test Takers who use a book heavy study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level though, so you'll likely end up needing to invest in some non-book resources. To be efficient with your studies going forward, you might consider investing in a GMAT Course of some type (either Guided Self-Study or instructor-led).

The process of applying to (and ultimately attending) Business School will require a big investment of time, money and energy on your part, so you really should make sure that the Programs that you apply to match your career goals/needs. There are a variety of factors that go into selecting the Schools that you'll apply to; here are some other things to think about:

1) Is there a particular company that you want to work for or industry that you want to work in? Certain degrees are more appropriate than others if you have a specific career goal.
2) What do you want your MBA to do for you?
3) Do you want to go to School full-time or part-time?
4) Are you willing to relocate? Are you comfortable with working through a program that is primarily online?
5) Are you going to be applying for scholarships?

It's okay if you don't have answers to any of these questions just yet, but you really should try to define all of the important variables in terms of your goals, so that you can tailor your entire approach to getting into the best School that matches what you're looking for.

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New post 26 Dec 2018, 10:37
Hi! In 490, what was your score split and how have you been preparing?
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New post 28 Dec 2018, 13:06
Hi Prachu1991,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help you with your GMAT plan. Regarding suggestions for possible business schools, you should reach out to one of the many admissions consultants here on GMAT Club.

Now, as for your GMAT, you have successfully completed the first step: taking a diagnostic to get a baseline score. Since you are 160 points from your score goal, it’s clear that you have some major work to do to improve to a 650. So, your next step is to lay out a sound and thorough study plan. Ideally, you want to follow a linear plan that allows you to start with the foundations of GMAT quant and verbal and progress to more advanced topics. By following a structured and methodical approach, you can ensure that you master each topic individually and fully.

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 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 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, 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.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!

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New post 02 Jan 2019, 05:31
Hi Prachu1991,

Preparing for the GMAT may not be as difficult as you feel. What you need is a structured plan that gives you a clear plan of how to approach your target score. A personalized Study Plan can help you score upto 50 points higher in the same amount of time. To know more and how to create a Personalized Study Plan, please refer to this article on Personalized Study Plans for 100+ Score Improvement. If you need any further help in creating the plan or how to study, please feel free to write to us at We would be happy to help.

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New post 08 Jan 2019, 02:34
Hi, Prachu1991

As a beginner, your score 490 is okay, considering that most of the beginners scored 400-600. You don’t have to be worried about your score and whether you can hit the score over 650. It is achievable, but you have to spend 2-3 hours everyday for more than 3 months constantly. It could be much easier for me to give you advice if I know your verbal and quant score each. Based on your official score, you’d better plan a strategy to improve your level. For example, if you hit the score Q49 by focusing on working on quant, then your score V29-30 is okay to get the score over 650. Of course, this is your first time to take a mock test and you could not know whether you can improve your quant score, so your concern is understandable. But with qualified tutors and material, you can achieve your goal.

As our company is specialized in quant, I will give you some tips. First of all, I want to say that GMAT math is not that difficult, if you have a solid foundation. If your quant score is under 35, you should focus on learning and internalizing the basics. Most of the companies offer MATH REVIEW where you can learn basic concepts of quant, and you should master it. The ways teaching the basics are all different by the companies and you should choose it by considering your studying style. Also, you should remember that the principle of "Slow, Hand, Detail"​ if you chose to study by taking online courses. Solve "slowly " when you study and practice and ​solve the problems by "hand " as a rule, which is solving them on paper yourself. Understanding how the problems are solved in videos or by tutors is very different from actually. When you solve them, write a "detailed " calculation process without skipping any steps.

And focus on 5 key topics (Integer, Statistics, Inequality, Probability, and Absolute Value) that account for 80% of the GMAT exam. Don’t waste your time on the other minor subjects. Then, focus on DS first. There are patterns and logic to GMAT quant problems and you can save a lot of time especially in DS questions. With Math Revolution ’s ’Variable Approach’ for DS questions, you can minimize time spent on each question while improving accuracy (solving a question in + having a checking time = 2 minute) On average, our students have about 10 minutes to spare before the exam ends.

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

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Re: Help Needed. Am i in the right path?   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2019, 02:34
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