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# Newbie Guide for the GMAT

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Intern
Joined: 24 Jan 2017
Posts: 12
Location: India
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
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Newbie Guide for the GMAT  [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2018, 18:35
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35
Yellows!

Yeup, so you’ve decided to take the GMAT and are now lost in a sea of advice on how to go about it. I’ll just pitch in with mine. Hahaha!

This exam consists of three sections: Quant, Verbal, and {AWA (Analytical Writing) & IR (Integrated Reasoning)} with an 8 min break in between two sections. The latest revision in exam rules have cut down the exam time to around 3.5 hours. Now, the Quant section is down to 62 mins with 31 questions (2 min per question on average) and Verbal to 65 mins with 36 questions (1 min 50 sec per question on average).

AWA and IR are both representative figures. They are not counted in the actual test score.

There are two websites which have pretty useful info –
1. Gmatclub.com
2. Poetsandquants.com

GMATclub.com will provide you with a sea of great resources right from interesting debriefs of test takers to question banks on various topics (disclaimer: only some trust worthy). Follow Bunuel on this site, he’s a quant god and the guy behind the gmatclub.com math tests.

Poetsandquants.com has a load of stuff on school profiles (avg. GMAT scores, class strength, avg. Work ex., Salaries et al.) and also contains many interviews of Admission committee members, deans, and current students. A pretty nice place to spend time on.

Now, here’s what I suggest you do in a step wise manner-

1. Go to mba.com and create an account. This step will give you access to two free official GMAT Tests. Spare some time and take one test. Your starting baseline will become crystal clear. P.S Don’t dwell on the scores. Just keep them as a reference of the effort that you’ve to put in.

2. Read debriefs of test takers from the GMAT club website. You will then have a fair picture of what people did and what was their journey like. Lots of motivational stuff out there.

3. Verbal
Subscribe to EGMAT Verbal course. Their great content is great and the analytics are pretty engaging. Tried and tested by yours truly. You will encounter two options, the Online Prep and the Live Prep. The difference between the two is that the Live Prep has additional three hour webinars on the weekends. No new concept is taught in these webinars, only the application part is strengthened by solving 4-5 questions collectively. Choose whichever option you like.

GMAT Verbal consists of three subsections – SC (Sentence Correction), CR (Critical Reasoning) and RC (Reading comprehension). I would suggest that you start off with SC (time to complete approx. 4 weeks), after which your brain will probably get fried up and thus for pain relief, go to RC (pretty lame stuff, finishes in about a week) and at last take up CR (approx. 4 weeks). This entire time calculation depends on the assumption that you will be spending a quality 2 hour period each day on study and maybe double of that on the weekends.

On the EGMAT platform, you will encounter Concept files (which teach the theory), application files (IMO the most important since they teach you the application of the concepts learnt earlier via 3-4 questions), and practice files (questions from the EGMAT Scholaranium database). After this, there are topic wise questions to be solved from the Official Guide (OG) and the Verbal Review (OG VR).
In a nutshell here’s the Verbal approach for you - Concept < Application < Practice < OG < OG VR. Do this topic wise in each subsection (e.g. SC / CR / RC) and move ahead. By doing this you will comprehensively finish the topic wise content of the Verbal section.

At the same time, please, for the love of god, maintain an error log. An error log is simply a collection of questions which you attempted incorrectly. All the questions on the EGMAT platform have excellent in-built analytics so there is no need to log those. But the ones which you get wrong on the OG and the OG VR, do put them in. My preferred way is to take a picture or a snapshot and then paste it on a power point presentation. Make a small text box as to what you need to remember or where you faltered. Do this for the Quant section too.

Thus, for the Verbal section, the resources which will give you a comprehensive preparation are –
EGMAT – Theory + Scholaranium
Official Guide
Official Guide Verbal Review

4. Quant
GMAT Quant consists of five subsections namely: Number Properties, Word Problems, Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Topics.

Now there are two ways to go about attempting quant-

Scenario 1: You are a Quant whiz.

For this section, start off by brushing up your fundamentals from the Manhattan GMAT guidebooks (MGMAT). Older version PDF’s are available on the net, yaay!

Then go on to the OG followed by OG Quant Review. The OG consists of retired questions which had appeared on the GMAT earlier, but they are generally quite easy. Strange paradox huhh! So here EGMAT comes in to the rescue again. You will get a free subscription to the GMAT Club Tests after you subscribe for the EGMAT Verbal course.

These tests are created by Bunuel, whom I referred to earlier, and they are pretty amazing. IMO the most representative quant questions available in the market. They are tougher than the actual GMAT but they will give you a level up preparation and can be taken in either sectional test format or untimed manner (like if you want to practice specific topic wise questions).

Thus, for the Quant section, the resources which will give you a comprehensive preparation are –
MGMAT PDF’s
GMAT Club Tests
Official Guide
Official Guide Quant Review

Scenario 2: You are not a Quant whiz or have probably spent too much time out of your last school or would like to learn from video lessons instead of books.

Subscribe to the EGMAT Quant course and follow an approach similar to what I had outlined in the Verbal section.

At the risk of repeating myself here’s the Quant approach for you - Concept < Application < Practice < OG < OG QR< GMAT Club Tests. Do this topic wise in each subsection (e.g. Algebra / Geometry etc.) and move ahead. By doing this you will comprehensively finish the topic wise content of the Quant section.

Thus, in this case, for the Quant section, the resources which will give you a comprehensive preparation are –
EGMAT – Theory + Scholaranium
GMAT Club Tests
Official Guide
Official Guide Quant Review

Note: Scholaranium really helped me by providing both excellent explanations for all questions (many a times better than even what the OG had written) and fantastic analytics. Using this platform I was able to identify and drill down on my weaknesses in both Quant and Verbal. It simply makes your time investment so much more prudent!

An additional tip, in case if you are really short on time, when attempting the Scholaranium, take its Sectional Ability tests (e.g. for Algebra or for SC), identify your weak spots and then rectify the weaknesses topic wise in each section. One way to go about this is to start from the easier questions in that topic (e.g. Assumption or Boldface topics in the CR section), and only move on to the higher difficulty questions when you are hitting 80-90% accuracies. This will iron out your weaknesses or if not, at least make you aware of where not to get bogged down on the actual test!

5. Buy the Question pack from MBA.com if you want to practice additional official questions. IMO these are the only questions (at least for Verbal) that you should be practicing for the last couple of weeks before your actual GMAT. These questions will help put you in the actual exam mode in terms of difficulty levels and can be taken in a customised manner (e.g. 5 SC and 5 CR etc.)

6. Buy the Exam packs from MBA.com to get additional official mock tests. So you will now have one free test (you’d attempted the other one right at the start of your prep, remember?) and four which can be purchased for a small fee. Once you are done with the prep, take 4 or 5 official GMAT Prep mocks over a months’ time frame (one every Sunday I'd say) and you're ready for your actual test. Taking five official mocks followed by detailed analysis is quite sufficient to iron out your exam taking strategies, while providing you with a realistic score expectation on the actual test at the same time.

7. AWA – a guy by the screen name “Chinese Burned” has shared an excellent template on GMAT Club. Read that and write two essays on your own in the same structure. You’re golden.

8. IR – Mock tests should provide enough practice, but if you want to go for some additional concept clearance, the EGMAT Verbal course has an IR section in it. That will be more than sufficient. Utilise it to view the approaches to be taken for different types of IR questions or for simply the types where you are getting repeatedly stuck.

Some general tips –

• Be consistent. Never miss a day of prep. Even if you are dog tired and can only keep awake for an hour, put in that one hour. Maintains the rhythm.

• Log off social media during your prep time, you really don’t want cute kitty videos running alongside your critical reasoning questions.

• If you want to read solid journalism and improve comprehension skills alongside, read the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. I haven’t tried either but have heard lots of others who do. New territory for you to explore!

• I would not recommend you to work on your school application on the side. The test prep and school apps are both intensive experiences. Kind of not cool to do both unless you are Rajnikanth (the Chuck Norris of India: P). Finish the test prep, take the GMAT and only then go for the apps.

• Restrain from attempting a mock in the couple of days leading to your actual exam. This will only lead to mental exhaustion.

• Improve your abilities and learn from every question you solve. Don’t just focus on the number of questions to be solved per day. Even if you are only able to solve only like 10 Q’s daily, make sure that you are learning something from the explanation be it terms of the approach used or anything else.

• On exam day, you will have two eight min breaks on the exam, one after each section. When you check out of testing lab and move into the exam centre lobby (which should hopefully have a wall mounted clock, at least mine did :D), check the time on the clock and do a +6 min calculation in your head. That is the exact time you have to get back to your exam screen. Around 1 min 30 secs are shaved off of being checked out and back in to the testing lab. Doing this simple step will help you to potentially avoid the panicky situation of coming back to find your timer running on the next section. Yeah, thank me later

Don't get scared off by all that I've listed above. You'll comfortably finish all of it in like 5 - 6 months. Maybe even earlier. Bwahahaha!!!

P.S EGMAT has not paid me to write for them. I just think that their course is cool and priced reasonably for the Indian market. Read the GMAT Club debriefs and make your choice. Free Country. Lols!

Cheers
Rahul
Senior Manager
Joined: 31 May 2017
Posts: 383
Re: Newbie Guide for the GMAT  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2018, 22:49
Hey rahul_india

Thanks for writing this amazing article.

How do you suggest splitting time between Quant and Verbal during prep.

Posted from my mobile device
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Intern
Joined: 24 Jan 2017
Posts: 12
Location: India
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.1
WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
Re: Newbie Guide for the GMAT  [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2018, 08:00
1

I finished my Verbal section first in approximately two months and I think a month on Quant. This time was all mainly for reviewing /learning the concepts and viewing applications of those concepts. I guess I then spent a month and a half on just practicing both quant and verbal questions. By doing so i was effectively staying in touch with the concepts learnt earlier and also learning from my mistakes by reading the explanations for these questions thoroughly.

Cheers
Rahul
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Re: Newbie Guide for the GMAT  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2018, 18:16
Hi Rahul,

Thank you for providing your insights.

I’ve also written a helpful article about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.
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Intern
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Re: Newbie Guide for the GMAT  [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2018, 03:56
Can you please take on the below given questions:-
1. If you score good GMAT score then is it covers your academic transcript i.e Xth, XIIth, Bachelor's?
2. If we give 2-3 time GMAT for improvising our score then is it be notified in our application?
CEO
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 3127
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: Newbie Guide for the GMAT  [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2018, 18:53
VibhorGarg wrote:
Can you please take on the below given questions:-
1. If you score good GMAT score then is it covers your academic transcript i.e Xth, XIIth, Bachelor's?
2. If we give 2-3 time GMAT for improvising our score then is it be notified in our application?
1. Schools will not ignore past academic performance solely because of a great GMAT score. That said, if you've been working for some time, your GMAT would be a more recent indicator of where you are now, and a good GMAT score will give your target schools confidence that you can handle the requirements of their programs.

2. Any attempt in the last 5 years that has not been canceled will be visible to the schools that you apply to with your latest score. That said, this is really not a huge deal, and should not stop you from taking the GMAT again if a retake becomes necessary.
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Joined: 16 Aug 2015
Posts: 8595
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V42
GPA: 3.82
Newbie Guide for the GMAT  [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2018, 22:06
Hi rahul_india,

You have a very nice guide here~ We also believe that your guide should be shared with everyone who wants to start preparing for the GMAT!!

Cheers!
Math Revolution
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Intern
Joined: 24 Jan 2017
Posts: 12
Location: India
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.1
WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
Re: Newbie Guide for the GMAT  [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2019, 09:35
MathRevolution wrote:
Hi rahul_india,

You have a very nice guide here~ We also believe that your guide should be shared with everyone who wants to start preparing for the GMAT!!

Cheers!
Math Revolution

Thank you for the appreciation!

Please feel free to share it on any other forum you want to.

Cheers
Rahul
Intern
Joined: 28 Sep 2018
Posts: 35
Re: Newbie Guide for the GMAT  [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2019, 09:49
Hey Rahul, could we connect on LinkedIn?

Posted from my mobile device
Re: Newbie Guide for the GMAT   [#permalink] 21 Jan 2019, 09:49
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# Newbie Guide for the GMAT

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