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Need help. Haven't started preparation yet.

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Need help. Haven't started preparation yet.  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 06 Dec 2019, 03:51
Hello everyone,

I took CAT 2019 (Common Admissions Test) in India, I am scoring around 92-95%ile. I won't be able to apply to any colleges with CAT score, so I have decided to take GMAT, I recently attempted first GMAT mock ( official practice exam 1 ) I scored 640 with V28 and Q49, IR 5 and didn't get AWA scores.

I am targeting ESCP, ESSEC, EDHEC MiM programmes.

Kindly guide me over how should I start preparation and any other insights to help me.
I will take GMAT between 14-16th December.


IR - 12 questions, 7 incorrect

Quantitative - 31 questions, 11 incorrect

Verbal - 36 questions, 15 incorrect

Posted from my mobile device

Originally posted by Uchiha15 on 30 Nov 2019, 20:40.
Last edited by Uchiha15 on 06 Dec 2019, 03:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help. Haven't started preparation yet.  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2019, 00:30
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Uchiha15 - Please understand that if you are comparing CAT to GMAT, you are comparing apples to oranges. Except for testing Quant and Verbal, both these tests have very different patterns and flavors. At this point, I would recommend that you review GMAT Club's study plan. All the best for your GMAT preparation.

GMAT Study Plan: https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-study-plan-217827.html
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Re: Need help. Haven't started preparation yet.  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2019, 01:33
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Hi Uchiha15 ..
Welcome to Gmatclub. 640 is a very strong score on the first mock. I hope, you have the ability to score above 700 with some weeks/months of preparation according to the hours you can spend on studying. Please see the best study plan to start: https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-study-plan-217827.html . Remember that 2 weeks will be tough to get above 700 score. Do you have official guide ? If not, then you must buy it. For further help and discussion, you can post here and look for the best material on gmatclub.
CAT and GMAT are different tests in scoring. You need to get as many as questions correct to get a good percentile in CAT and GMAT do no work like that. GMAT works on ability adaptive algorithm, the question level changes according to ability. It is recommended to get following accuracy for best score: 100% in easy, 80% in medium and 50% in hard.

Uchiha15 wrote:
Hello everyone,

I took CAT2019 (Common admissions test) in India, I am scoring around 92-95%ile. I won't be able to apply to any colleges with CAT score, so I have decided to take GMAT, I recently attempted first GMAT mock ( official practice exam 1 ) I scored 640 with V28 and Q49, IR 5 and didn't get AWA scores.

I am targetting ESCP,ESSEC,EDHEC MiM programmes.

Kindly guide me over how should I start preparation and any other insights to help me.
I will take GMAT between 14-16th December.


IR - 12 questions, 7 incorrect

Quantitative - 31 questions, 11 incorrect

Verbal - 36 questions, 15 incorrect

Posted from my mobile device

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Re: Need help. Haven't started preparation yet.  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2019, 04:09
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Uchiha15 wrote:
Hello everyone,

I took CAT2019 (Common admissions test) in India, I am scoring around 92-95%ile. I won't be able to apply to any colleges with CAT score, so I have decided to take GMAT, I recently attempted first GMAT mock ( official practice exam 1 ) I scored 640 with V28 and Q49, IR 5 and didn't get AWA scores.

Hi Uchiha15! 640 is not a bad score at all, for starters. A percentile score of 92-95 percentile on CAT would correspond to 700+ score on GMAT, with similar percentile.

However, you should not take a 700+ for granted and have to work significantly hard (the way you would perhaps have worked for CAT) to earn your GMAT score.

Clearly Verbal should be an area of more focus, during your prep.

Let's look at few basics of GMAT preparation:

Time
3 months is usually sufficient time to be prepared for GMAT, provided that you do justice to your time in these 3 months. Strategy is important, strategy alone cannot enable you to get a 700+ on GMAT. Determination, diligence, discipline, and dedication are also required in equal measure. You need to ensure that your efforts are channelized in the most optimum way, so that your efforts yield the intended result.

Study material
The study material that you refer to during your preparation, will be the single most important decision during your GMAT journey. Accuracy, relevance, and conciseness, all matter. The study material should be pertinent, so that in the least possible time, it builds concepts that would help address GMAT questions.

If you enroll for either classroom coaching or for online coaching, then you obviously place your faith in the institute, and would be following the material provided to you. In such case, you hope that the institute/test-prep company would have done sufficient due-diligence to prepare the best material for its students.

If you opt for self-study, let’s go bit deeper. The study-material conundrum actually has two key components:
i) Text material, to build concepts
ii) Practice questions, to practice implementing those concepts

Text material
There is plenty of choice available, making the task of choosing the best material, tricky. The choice is bewildering, with most large test prep companies such as Kaplan and Manhattan offering text books on various subjects covered on GMAT.

Quant: Standard high school books, covering concepts such as Number Systems, Geometry, ratio and proportion, statistics, and algebra, suffice for concepts. For few concepts such as Probability, Permutations & Combinations, and Coordinate Geometry, you might want to refer to class 11 books.

In Quant, the concepts tested on GMAT are quite basic. So, no complex numbers, trigonometry, or calculus. The beauty of GMAT Quant is how tricky the questions can get, using those basic concepts. For example, you might believe that you can never go wrong with simple concepts such as positives & negatives, or odds & evens. However, GMAT can actually come up with questions using these concepts that can really trick you the wrong way, unless you’ve done sufficient practice.

Lastly, even if you are very confident of your quant skills, and for valid reasons, make sure you practice Data Sufficiency questions, since Data Sufficiency question type is notorious for being deceptively simple.

Verbal: While Manhattan books seem to be popular for the most part, Powerscore Critical Reasoning bible is a particular GMAT favorite for Critical Reasoning preparation.

EducationAisle’s publication Sentence Correction Nirvana, available on Flipkart and Amazon, is fast gaining reputation among non-native English speakers, as the most comprehensive source for fundamentals of sentence correction.

Practice questions
As opposed to most other exams, GMAT practice questions suffers from a problem of plenty. Even a casual search on GMAT study material on Google would throw GBs and GBs of data at you. The problem however, is that most of that material is not authentic. Once you start preparing, you will soon realize that authenticity of study material is really a big deal on GMAT.

Hence, the term official question will soon be a part of your lingo. Official questions are basically old retired GMAT questions that are available in various publications from GMAC, the official creators of GMAT. The three most prominent official publications are:

§ The Official Guide for GMAT Review (comprising questions in both quant and verbal)
§ The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review (comprising questions in quant)
§ The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review (comprising questions in verbal)

However, an issue that test takers face is that official questions are not arranged topic-wise, and so, there is no easy way to practice questions topic-wise (say all questions related to number systems or set theory). However, I believe this issue is in the process of being resolved in the more current versions of Official guides.

In addition to these, a veritable source of GMAT questions is GMAT Official Starter Kit + Practice Exams 1 & 2 (Free), developed by GMAC.

Lastly, on GMATClub, you can actually search on the “tag” GMATPrep and access hundreds of GMATPrep questions.

Prepare a schedule
Prepare a realistic schedule, one that you can adhere to; but once you do prepare a schedule, make sure you do adhere to it.

Consider a study schedule of six days a week, with 2-3 hours of focused study time every day. To start with, you can evenly split your time between Quant and Verbal (3 days quant and 3 days verbal, with one day off every week). As your preparation progresses, you can then alter this schedule as you discover your areas of strength and weaknesses.
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New post 01 Dec 2019, 16:04
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Hi Uchiha15,

To start, a 640 is a strong initial CAT Score (the Average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years). Assuming that you took this CAT in a realistic fashion, then you are a strong overall critical thinker - which is good. That having been said, many GMATers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you are going to limit your studies to just 2 weeks, then there will likely be a limit to how high you can score in that time.

I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline and goals:
1) What is your goal score?
2) What are the exact application deadlines for each of the Schools that you plan to apply to? Would you consider applying for Round 3?

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New post 02 Dec 2019, 01:35
Hello Sir,

My goal is to score 720+.
The deadline for application is 7th January for ESSEC, 20th January for ESCP.
I can't apply for round 3 as I don't have a good profile.

Posted from my mobile device
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New post 02 Dec 2019, 11:50
Hi Uchiha15,

From your last message, there is an additional issue to consider besides how to best study for the GMAT. If you don't think that you have a strong overall profile, then 'rushing in' applications for Round 2 is NOT a good idea. Business Schools generally do not accept "average applicants" in the early Rounds, so if you're likely to get wait-listed (or rejected), then you shouldn't apply until you have made your overall application stronger (and that will likely mean more than just improving your GMAT Score). To properly plan out your overall application strategy, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile and plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

Raising a 640 to the point that you can consistently score 720+ will likely require at least another 1.5 - 2 months of consistent, guided study. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. That having been said, your current timeframe allows for just 1.5 weeks of additional study. There's no harm in taking the GMAT as scheduled, but you will likely have to take it again later - so you could potentially save some money and aggravation by pushing it back now.

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New post 02 Dec 2019, 11:58
Hi Uschilha15,

640 is a great start! Although you may not be able to hit your score goal by the January 7th deadline, here is some general advice you can follow to improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills. Since you are just starting out with your prep ideally you want to follow a linear and structured study plan. In other words follow a study plan that allows you to learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic individually 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: Need help. Haven't started preparation yet.   [#permalink] 02 Dec 2019, 11:58
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