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Need some insights/feedback on my prep - Preparing for GMAT in 6 weeks

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Need some insights/feedback on my prep - Preparing for GMAT in 6 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 11:24
Hello Everyone!

First, I am very excited to join and be a part of this community. Also, I feel privileged to have so much nice material/references at fingertips. Thank you to ALL the founders, moderators and everyone else who has contributed to this forum!!

I am working towards exec. MBA application and hence need to crack GMAT in about 6 weeks. I wanted to establish a baseline to understand the most effective attack/study plan. Hence, I am sharing here my analysis and proposed plan of action to get your valuable feedback

I scored 620 yesterday on the official GMAT Practice Test # 1. (Quant: 44, Verbal: 30) - Note that this is my first time ever giving a mock test. All I did as prep was understand the type of questions and go through some basics from OG13. I may have used up a test prematurely; however I wanted to get a realistic idea of where I stand given the short time.

Here are some detailed statistics:

Quant:
- I got 10 questions wrong from the first 23 questions (Post exam analysis showed - 6 silly mistakes - questions that I should have gotten correct).
- I had to guess the last 7 questions and I still could not answer the 8th: I am clearly short on time - Need practice

Verbal:
- I got 8 questions wrong from the first 28 questions that I could solve. Again, I had to blindly guess the last 7 and got all wrong.
- Of the 8 wrong questions among the first 28 - here are the statistics -
4/11 wrong on RC
3/11 wrong on SC
1/6 wrong on CR (Interestingly, all the last 7 questions that I missed/guessed were CRs and RC)
______________________________________________________________________

Let me start by saying that my goal is to hit a score of 750. My exam date is Jan. 2nd 2019. I have to improve by over 100 points in 6 weeks..!! With this initial 620 score, I am not overly worried/disappointed (Maybe I should be ? :-))

Here are my observations/thoughts/plan of action:

- Clearly, need more practice for Quant to avoid silly mistakes -

My Plan:

First, to go through the basics from now till Dec. 2nd.

Quant:
- Go through the GMATClub Quant book (pdF) to nail down the basics
- Go through "How to improve your quant from 44 to 50" post (I can't seem to post links) and follow recommendations there
- Give GMATClub quant tests every other day starting Dec. 3rd to Dec. 21st [This way i would be able take 10 such tests]

Verbal:
- Enroll in e-GMAT verbal package and go through the basics and practice scholaranium - Try to finish this by Dec. 21st.

Full length practice tests:

- Practice full length CATs - MG, Veritas, GMATClub - 2x per week starting Dec. 3rd
- This would allow me to take 6 exams by Dec. 21st.

Last 10 days:
- Take Official GMAT Practices Tests: 2,3,4,5, 6
- In between practice and finish OG13.
- Go through IR and Essay practice

My goal is to get to
Quant --> 50 from 44(today) and Verbal --> 40 from 30(today)

I will HIGHLY appreciate your candid feedback on my proposed plan. Please tell me if you think I am dreaming about putting this effort and getting my target score or if this is indeed realistic (with the right effort, of course)

I plan to put 4 hours per weekday starting today and 6 hours every weekend till Dec. 16th. After that, I will be putting 6-8 hours a day for the last 15 days balancing different topics so as to not burn out.
This would be roughly - 200-230 hours total from Now to taking the actual GMAT test.

Thank you all in advance! Happy Learning :thumbup:

Ravi
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Re: Need some insights/feedback on my prep - Preparing for GMAT in 6 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 11:50
Hi Ravi,

To start, a 620 is a solid initial CAT score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years). That having been said, a 750+ Score is approximately the 99th percentile, meaning that 99% of Test Takers never score that high (regardless of how long they study or the number of times they take the GMAT). In addition, many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores. With your current Test Date, you have a little less than 6 weeks of potential study time. While no one here knows what you are truly capable of (as far as how high you might score on the Official GMAT), the timeframe that you're working under seems less than ideal, and that might limit how much you can improve.

As far as when you should take your practice CATs, it's important to remember that a CAT is really a 'measuring device' - when used correctly, it will give you a realistic score and help define your strengths and weaknesses, but it will NOT help you to fix any of those weaknesses. To raise your scores, you have to learn the necessary Tactics and put in the proper practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. As such, you really shouldn't take more than 1 FULL CAT per week. Thus, you should 'spread out' your CATs (instead of taking 5 CATs in the last 10 days).

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 your timeline and your goals:

1) What Programs are you planning to apply to?
2) What are the exact application deadlines for each of those Programs? Are there any later application Rounds?

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Re: Need some insights/feedback on my prep - Preparing for GMAT in 6 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2018, 10:37
Hi rshah13,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, 620 is a really great starting point! That being said, a 750 GMAT score is no joke, so it’s certainly no guarantee you can achieve such a score in just 6 weeks. If necessary, are you able to take the GMAT at a later date?

Regarding your plan, since you are starting the GMAT from scratch, the key is to follow a linear and structured study plan. Specifically, you need to follow a “topic by topic” study plan that allows you to first learn the concepts of a particular topic and then practice that topic to ensure mastery. It appears that you are following a similar plan by covering the basics and then moving on to practice questions, but you may consider taking a more focused approach so that you can efficiently find weaknesses and fill in knowledge gaps as you work through GMAT quant and verbal.

Regarding your practice exams, you definitely do not want to take 5 practice exams in the final 10 days of your prep. Furthermore, you shouldn’t start taking any practice exams until you have fully completed your prep. Remember, GMAT practice tests serve two main purposes: to provide diagnostic information and to get you accustomed to the test-taking experience. In other words, by taking a practice test, you can get a sense of what types of GMAT questions you are comfortable answering, arrive at a reasonable estimation of how you would score on the GMAT at that point in time, and practice taking the GMAT and handling its various challenges, such as time pressure and the varying difficulty of the questions presented. Thus, focus on mastering GMAT quant and verbal, and then move on to practice CATs, starting with the official practice exams.

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to me directly.

You also may find it helpful to read this article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Good luck!
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Re: Need some insights/feedback on my prep - Preparing for GMAT in 6 weeks   [#permalink] 27 Nov 2018, 10:37
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