My Plan to Conquer the GMAT - Looking for Input, Please Help : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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Joined: 17 Dec 2010
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26 Dec 2010, 10:25
Hi friends,

I am just beginning my GMAT adventure and wanted to share my general plan for study so that it can be reviewed and critiqued. I'm excited to hear your comments.

First off, a little background about me and my studying situation so that my plan will be in context.

I am a gradate of a small liberal-arts school in the US where I earned a double major in Political Science and International Business. The college was especially focused on reading, writing, and critical thinking, and I feel confident in my abilities in all of this, but I am a little worried because I have been in Peru for the past two years and these skills have not been put into use. My quant abilities are lackluster. I was always natively good at math and had great grades in high school, but the only quant I have taken since then were two stats courses in college. I got very good grades in both of these classes without much effort but I am rusty on the basics and need some serious review to get going again.

So, here is my plan:

Step 1:

Study and learn the book Foundations of GMAT Math by Manhaatan.

I feel it is necessary to do a major review of fundamental math concepts. This book will be my first step to reviewing all the cob-webbed areas of my brain that know these things. I expect this review to take 3-4 weeks as it will be intensive, detailed, and comprehensive.

Step 2

Do a general prep for the GMAT using Kaplan's GMAT Premier.

This book will let me use the general skills I have learned in math to dive into GMAT style questions and see how I am doing. Also, it will give me my first signs of how my verbal skills really are. During this time, I will keep a detailed error log to track my areas of weakness. After finishing the book, I will take my first practice test which will serve as a diagnostic. I am choosing to wait until this moment to take the diagnostic test because I know how dismally I would score, especially on math, if I took it right now.

Step 3

Focus on specifics using Manhattan GMAT Strategy Guides.

Based on the review of my abilities in Kaplan and in my first CAT, I will prepare a second round of studying to minimize my weaknesses. I will use the Manhattan GMAT set of 8 Strategy Guides as I see fit during this time. I will take 2-3 Manhattan CATs during this review to continue gauging my ability.

Step 4

Official Guide Mayhem

After fine-tuning my work I will begin plowing through the OG question sets with use of an error log to track my problem areas. I have OG12, Og Verbal 2nd Edition, and OG Quant 2nd Edition. I also expect to practice using the GMAT Club Quant Sets during this time.

Step 5

Practice Tests, Practice Tests, and... Yup More Practice Tests

During this time I will take all the practice tests I can get my hands on in order to do as much final prep as possible to take the exam. I will begin practicing for the AWA as well and begin looking at pacing strategies so as not to lose points by answering questions too slowly.

At this point I will have scheduled my GMAT exam and requested off a week of vacation to be relaxed and ready for the exam when I take it (I am going into next year with around 40 vacation days that I have to take).

Finally, right now I am not scheduling my GMAT test so I can be more flexible in taking the time I need to truly master all of the concepts in this test. I am taking up a new position in my organization when I return to Peru in January so I will not begin studying until February when I will have adjusted more to my new job and location.

So, this was a pretty long inaugural post but I hope some of you have made it through and can offer your experience and advice on this plan. Also, if there are any must have books please let me know. Once I am leave the country again it will be a lot more difficult to get new books down to me.

Much thanks!

Brian
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26 Dec 2010, 12:44
My 2 cents.

- I would start with OG12 and official GMAT Prep Test 1. It's very important to get a sense what GMAT is about, get first "close to reality" score and define what particular areas are your the weakest points. With all my respect to non-official GMAT materials, they are excellent to polish your skills but not the best to start with.
- I would not divide practice and theory. I would do both at the same time.

Good luck!
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26 Dec 2010, 20:06
I do have a very similar plan but just my two cents:

Foundation of Math will not take that long...You can probably finish it in about 10 days - max 2 weeks or so...It does provide a very comprehensive review of all the basics you need. The online question banks with the book might take a bit longer.

Also, I would skip the Kaplan Premier and focus only on the MGMAT & OG guides.

For Quant, you can look at Jeff Sackman sets. They are great to practice with MGMAT

For a step-by-step quant build up:

1. Study MGMAT guides and practice with Jeff Sackmann's easy sets.
2. Do OG questions
3. Do MGMAT advanced section + Jeff Sackmann's challenge sets
4. Do GMAT club Math tests + Jeff Sackman's extreme sets

Hope this helps.
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