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Plan for 1 Month before Test Day

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Plan for 1 Month before Test Day  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 07:25
Hi all - hoping to get some help in this last stretch before taking my GMAT in Dec! In late September this year, I decided to apply to b-school R2 this year, and have been studying the GMAT for about 5 weeks now. I have 4 more weeks until my test day. Any helpful resources for the final push would be appreciated! My goal is 740+, would settle for 730 but would likely retake if it's 720 or below.

I took the first diagnostic practice test (one of the two free official GMAT ones on their website) on Sept 29, got a 690 (40V/45Q). I spent the last month going through OG18 and did all the PS, DS, SC and CR questions. Work got really busy for a bit so didn't get to RC.

I took my second practice test yesterday, got 720 (41V/48Q). However, I didn't feel this was a realistic score for me, partly because I recognized a number of questions that I've done previously in the OG. I also had 3 questions on quant that I had no idea on but guessed correctly, which really helped my quant score.

On verbal, I feel really confident and feel like every answer I put is right (even though I missed 7 questions). Almost all of the problems I got wrong was SC, so will need to focus on that. Are there any good resources to just practice and hammer out SC questions?

On quant, I was uncomfortable the entire section, and felt like I was going to bomb the section. I had no idea how to do 4 of the first 10 questions, and guessed 2 of them right somehow. Even the questions I got right, I felt uneasy about. Towards the end of the test I thought all the questions were easy questions. I feel pretty discouraged, as I reviewed the questions and there wasn't one type of question that I struggle with. I feel like I need to start from the beginning with quant studying. I can get all 500-600 level questions right, but struggle with 650+ questions. Is there a study plan for someone to get more comfortable with quant? Should I just do practice questions from the OG quant book, or should I focus on one type of PS question a day (ie. algebra) and then move onto another time (ie geometry) the next day? Any guidance would be helpful.

Sorry if this is a rambling post - I am just feeling the pressure as the test is 30 days out and even though I scored a 720, I feel like it's more like a 690-700. I plan on buying the 4 other GMAT tests, and take one a week leading up to the test. Thanks for any help
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Re: Plan for 1 Month before Test Day  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 08:54
Hello neongreen

I would definitely have a look at the link : https://gmatclub.com/forum/what-to-do-3 ... 52506.html
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Re: Plan for 1 Month before Test Day  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 09:07
Try manhattan advanced quant book:-

https://www.amazon.com/GMAT-Advanced-Qu ... b_title_bk

You may also try GMATCLUB mocks for Quant. You get quite a few of those.

Have a look at this quant booster plan from empowergmat:-

https://empowergmat.com/uploads/EMPOWER ... 0Quant.pdf

You may also consider doing a trial version of few test prep companies like empowergmat or Orion etc.

All the best!!
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Re: Plan for 1 Month before Test Day  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 11:53
Hi neongreen,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you've been studying for just 5 weeks, you should not expect to have 'mastered' anything just yet. By extension, you might naturally improve over time - as you become more familiar with the content, patterns, Tactics and questions types that you'll see on Test Day.

Since you have just 4 weeks of study time remaining, 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 how you've been studying and your goals:

1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) What is your exact Test Date?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
5) If you're planning to apply to Business School during this cycle, then what are the specific application deadlines that you're facing?

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Rich
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Re: Plan for 1 Month before Test Day  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 19:37
Thank you all for your comments.

EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:

1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) What is your exact Test Date?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
5) If you're planning to apply to Business School during this cycle, then what are the specific application deadlines that you're facing?



Rich, to answer your questions

1) I have OG 2018, as well as the OG verbal review and OG quant review. I also plan on buying 2-4 additional official CAT exams

2) I've only take 2. they are 690 (40V/45Q) and 720 (41V/48Q). However, I felt "lucky" to have gotten the 720, and feel like I'm more in the 690 range at the moment

3) Test date is Dec 1, 2018

4) If I score my desired goal, I will only have 1 month to prepare applications. Right now I plan to apply to Wharton and Columbia. If not successful this year, I plan to apply to all M7 next year

5) Both deadlines for Wharton and Columbia are around Jan 1, so will need to get those 2 apps ready by then!
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Re: Plan for 1 Month before Test Day  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 20:48
Hi neongreen,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 2 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 700 +/- a few points). You might very well have gotten a bit 'lucky' on this 2nd CAT, but that potential impact does fall within the margin defined by GMAC. Assuming that you took each of these CATs in a realistic fashion, this ultimately means that you're likely performing at the same general level.

"Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix'). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your last CAT. While a full Mistake Tracker would provide a lot more information, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer (and the more EXACT you can be with your answers, the better):

After reviewing each section of this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Plan for 1 Month before Test Day  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 17:11
Hi neongreen,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, a 720 with a V41/Q48 is a great start (even if you saw a few repeated questions). Keep in mind that most folks needs to study for much longer than just 2 months to achieve such a score. That being said, I realize that you are not satisfied and furthermore are feeling somewhat uncomfortable when solving quant questions, which is a sign that you have not fully developed your GMAT quant skills. Thus, rather than simply diving into more random practice, you should go through GMAT quant carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. 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 the 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.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. As you 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

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 and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions 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.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant courses. Also, if you are looking for more verbal practice, you should check out the GMAT Club reviews for verbal courses.

Lastly, you may find my article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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Re: Plan for 1 Month before Test Day &nbs [#permalink] 31 Oct 2018, 17:11
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