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Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?

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Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2019, 23:25
Hi everyone,

I aim to get a 700 in 2 months. I haven't studied yet and I got 580 in GMAT Official Practice Exam 1 (39-37th percentile in Quantitative, 31-62 percentile in Verbal). I have recently left my job so I will have plenty of free time ahead.

I am not a native speaker but I graduated from a US university.

My target MSc programs are Purdue, University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Pittsburgh and William&Mary MSc in Business Analytics.

What would you suggest me for my study plan? And most importantly, do you think it's possible?

My resources are: GMAT Official Guide (Verbal+Quantitative Review), Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2019, 23:27
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Hi,

It's definitely possible. you can read this debrief where he has reached to 750 in two months. This might help

https://gmatclub.com/forum/750-q48-v45- ... l#p2320262
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Re: Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2019, 00:56
zandarzigan - To be honest, a 100-120 score improvement in 2 months is tough but quite possible. Several test takers have achieved massive score improvement is such a duration. That said, I would recommend, given you have only 2 months, that you have a very focussed and planned study plan. Please review some of the GMAT Success stories available in the below link. At this point, I would recommend that you review GMAT Club's study plan.

GMAT Study Plan: https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-study-plan-217827.html
Best GMAT Stories: https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-st ... 98512.html
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Re: Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2019, 06:04
Yes, you can, with the good resources and determined study plan. You can find many debriefs of students, who have scored 700+ with 2 months of immense preparation.
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Re: Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2019, 09:26
zandarzigan wrote:

I aim to get a 700 in 2 months. I haven't studied yet and I got 580 in GMAT Official Practice Exam 1 (39-37th percentile in Quantitative, 31-62 percentile in Verbal). I have recently left my job so I will have plenty of free time ahead.

I am not a native speaker but I graduated from a US university.

My target MSc programs are Purdue, University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Pittsburgh and William&Mary MSc in Business Analytics.

What would you suggest me for my study plan? And most importantly, do you think it's possible?

My resources are: GMAT Official Guide (Verbal+Quantitative Review), Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides.



It is possible to improve your score. You took the first test without any studying, so this score should be taken in different context. Many high scorers started with low diagnostic scores.

You should try to forget this score and instead spend your time on fulltime preparation. Looking at your resources, you would be advised to add a few more ones, e.g., high school textbooks and other books on quantitative skills, grammar books and test preparation skills. The official guide and Manhattan guide are good resources but you may benefit from addtional sources. Try not to waste time on taking many mock tests, especially third party ones. Instead, use the two months to study intensively. 700+ is possible. GL!
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Re: Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2019, 10:04
zandarzigan wrote:
Hi everyone,

I aim to get a 700 in 2 months. I haven't studied yet and I got 580 in GMAT Official Practice Exam 1 (39-37th percentile in Quantitative, 31-62 percentile in Verbal). I have recently left my job so I will have plenty of free time ahead.

I am not a native speaker but I graduated from a US university.

My target MSc programs are Purdue, University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Pittsburgh and William&Mary MSc in Business Analytics.

What would you suggest me for my study plan? And most importantly, do you think it's possible?

My resources are: GMAT Official Guide (Verbal+Quantitative Review), Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides.

Thanks in advance!


Difficult to answer your question in a plain vanilla answer "yes" or "no". It depends on many factors.

To say the least you should plan your preparation in a disciplined and systematic manner. (You will find loads of advice on study plans, error logs, practice exams, etc on GMAT club)

Give a couple of practice exams after revising the basics and following your study plan and report back your lastest scores. Maybe then the experts will be in a better position to help you in your preparation strategy.

All the best!
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Re: Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2019, 15:27
Hi zandarzigan,

A 580 is a solid initial CAT score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years). Since you're just beginning your studies, there's no way to say for sure how long it might take you to hit your Score Goal. Statistically-speaking, it is possible in the timeframe that you described, but many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so you might need more time than you've currently allotted.

From what you describe, your immediate study plan is 'book heavy'; unfortunately, many Test Takers who study in that way end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level. There's no harm in starting off your studies in that fashion, but you'll likely end up needing to invest in some additional, non-book resources at some point. If you'd prefer to work with the study materials that you current have, then I suggest that you study as you like for the next 1-2 weeks, then take a new, FULL-LENGTH CAT - and make sure to take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss the results and how you might adjust your studies going forward.

In addition, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) Do you have an Official Test Date yet (and if so, then when is it?)?
2) What application deadlines are you facing?
3) How many hours are you planning to study each week?

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Re: Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2019, 19:52
Hi zandarzigan,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, improving by 120 points in just 2-months is a pretty tall order; however, it’s not impossible. Regarding your study plan, since you scored Q39/V31 on your initial practice exam, you need to follow a study plan that allows you to learn GMAT quant and verbal from the ground up. In other words follow a study plan that allows you to learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. Let me expand on this idea further.

If you are learning about Number Properties, 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.
Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see, types that you would rather not see, and types that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

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 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 New York Times, 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, you likely 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 really a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning the 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 less than 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 none of those reasons are 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 logical meanings. 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 until you start to see the differences that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to take the time to see the differences between answers 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 to arrive at that answer and what you could do differently 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 do 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 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 need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. You also may find it helpful to read the following article about The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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Re: Is it possible to move from 580 to 680-700 in 2 months?   [#permalink] 11 Nov 2019, 19:52
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