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Plan to approach 700 Gmat with the baseline of 550

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Plan to approach 700 Gmat with the baseline of 550  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2019, 03:20
Hello everyone!

I just finished the 1st test of gmatofficialprep after 30 hours walking through all question types to say hello with Gmat and ended up an overall score of 550 broken down by Q49 and V17. My plan is to get 700 to meet requirement of 650 and to outweigh my disadvantages of GPA just 3.0/4.0 :( . The official test is on 14th July. I can spend 10 hours/week in next 9 weeks, then quit the job to intensely study 20 hours/weeks in next 4 weeks. My materials for both Verbal and Math are:

1. OG 2018
2. OG 2019
3. Mahattan PREP

Are they too a few? People often talk at least 5 books in their pack..

My strength is all about Math as can be seen, I believe I can do better next time with Q50-51, I have overlooked and undermined some minor details in 1st questions, though I have 5 minutes redundant at the end. Getting 50-51 will be more painful :? , and I am unsure what aspects of Math should I focus on? What materials are to be used for top level upgrade?

And, Verbal is my thorny asin, I fail at many RC (9), CR(6) and few SC (2). I am extremely disappointed with this result, I think my CR should be better. Can someone help me light up the dark alley at this skill? What more materials should I approach?

Other 2 big questions for me now:

1. As Verbal is my weakness, should I spend all time for Verbal first, leave the Math behind then review it 4 weeks before official test?, or should I practice it every week but with little time?
2. Words in RC are so specialized, how do you guys set strategy to conquer GMAT vocab?

I hope someone can help me out with my issues. Thanks in advance for your time :heart :heart
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Re: Plan to approach 700 Gmat with the baseline of 550  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2019, 11:49
TTnkl wrote:
Hello everyone!

I just finished the 1st test of gmatofficialprep after 30 hours walking through all question types to say hello with Gmat and ended up an overall score of 550 broken down by Q49 and V17. My plan is to get 700 to meet requirement of 650 and to outweigh my disadvantages of GPA just 3.0/4.0 :( . The official test is on 14th July. I can spend 10 hours/week in next 9 weeks, then quit the job to intensely study 20 hours/weeks in next 4 weeks. My materials for both Verbal and Math are:

1. OG 2018
2. OG 2019
3. Mahattan PREP

Are they too a few? People often talk at least 5 books in their pack..

My strength is all about Math as can be seen, I believe I can do better next time with Q50-51, I have overlooked and undermined some minor details in 1st questions, though I have 5 minutes redundant at the end. Getting 50-51 will be more painful :? , and I am unsure what aspects of Math should I focus on? What materials are to be used for top level upgrade?

And, Verbal is my thorny asin, I fail at many RC (9), CR(6) and few SC (2). I am extremely disappointed with this result, I think my CR should be better. Can someone help me light up the dark alley at this skill? What more materials should I approach?

Other 2 big questions for me now:

1. As Verbal is my weakness, should I spend all time for Verbal first, leave the Math behind then review it 4 weeks before official test?, or should I practice it every week but with little time?
2. Words in RC are so specialized, how do you guys set strategy to conquer GMAT vocab?

I hope someone can help me out with my issues. Thanks in advance for your time :heart :heart


Hello TTnkl

You materials are just fine.

I would not add anything new to it, especially for verbal part, I would focus only on Official materials.

That being said, since verbal is your weak part and seems like you lack a little bit of vocabulary, based on your description, you can add actually GRE verbal official book and play with verbal flashcards.

GRE Verbal pat is harder and more demanding than GMAT in terms of vocabulary so reading their RC paragraphs and other exercises, will help you greatly.

I would also advise you to read online as much as you can.

That is best prep for Verbal part, read read and then read some more. :)

You should add magazines such as Economist, Bloomberg Businesweek, Scientific American, National Geographic and NY Times news paper.

Find something that interest you, but be sure also to read something out from your comfort zone, that will help you to boost your verbal score.


You should not avoid math in your prep.

Okay you can spent more time on verbal, but be sure not to neglect math, since your improvements in verbal can be just offset by diminishing score in quant, if you focus just on verbal.

Be sure to take as much mocks as you can, in order to build stamina.

Official mocks and Manhattan ones will suffice for that purpose.


Good luck with prep, keep up with good work, be persistent and stay positive ! :cool:
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Re: Plan to approach 700 Gmat with the baseline of 550  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2019, 14:00
1
TTnkl wrote:
Hello everyone!

I just finished the 1st test of gmatofficialprep after 30 hours walking through all question types to say hello with Gmat and ended up an overall score of 550 broken down by Q49 and V17. My plan is to get 700 to meet requirement of 650 and to outweigh my disadvantages of GPA just 3.0/4.0 :( . The official test is on 14th July. I can spend 10 hours/week in next 9 weeks, then quit the job to intensely study 20 hours/weeks in next 4 weeks. My materials for both Verbal and Math are:

1. OG 2018
2. OG 2019
3. Mahattan PREP

Are they too a few? People often talk at least 5 books in their pack..

My strength is all about Math as can be seen, I believe I can do better next time with Q50-51, I have overlooked and undermined some minor details in 1st questions, though I have 5 minutes redundant at the end. Getting 50-51 will be more painful :? , and I am unsure what aspects of Math should I focus on? What materials are to be used for top level upgrade?

And, Verbal is my thorny asin, I fail at many RC (9), CR(6) and few SC (2). I am extremely disappointed with this result, I think my CR should be better. Can someone help me light up the dark alley at this skill? What more materials should I approach?

Other 2 big questions for me now:

1. As Verbal is my weakness, should I spend all time for Verbal first, leave the Math behind then review it 4 weeks before official test?, or should I practice it every week but with little time?
2. Words in RC are so specialized, how do you guys set strategy to conquer GMAT vocab?

I hope someone can help me out with my issues. Thanks in advance for your time :heart :heart


Hi TTnkl,

Welcome to GMATCLUB. 3 months is good enough to achieve your target score. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for that period, you are sure to achieve your goal. I think you should spend a little more time on your Verbal as your Quant seems good.

To improve your scores in verbal, you can consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practice tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... ml?fl=menu

Lastly, you can check out a very interesting article by Mike McGarry from Magoosh detailing a 3 month study plan

https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... l-focused/. You will find it very helpful as it gives out a study plan as per your needs.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: Plan to approach 700 Gmat with the baseline of 550  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2019, 14:38
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Hi TTnkl,

To start, a 550 is a solid initial CAT Score (the Average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years) - and since your Quant skills are clearly really strong, you won't necessarily have to put too much extra time into your Quant studies to score higher there. That having been said, raising a 550 to the point that you can consistently score 700+ will likely require at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

Based on your post, there are a number of details to discuss:

First, many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level, and since your plans appear book-heavy, that could potentially happen to you as well. Even the best books are limited in what they can teach you; they also can't force you to approach questions in a certain way and their explanations are often one-sided. In addition, the OG2018 and OG2019 are essentially identical (about 15% of the practice questions in the OG2019 are different from the ones in the OG2018 though) - they're great sources for practice questions, but they're not designed to teach you Tactics, patterns or the little 'secrets' of the GMAT. This is all meant to say that you'll likely end up needing to invest in some additional, non-book resources.

Second, you probably do NOT need to quit your job to study for the GMAT. If you did so, then you would probably be tempted to study too much (re: 'cramming') and potentially 'burn out' before Test Day (and that is something that we want to AVOID).

You can certainly get started with the books that you have. I suggest that you study as you like for the next 2-3 weeks, then take a NEW, FULL-LENGTH CAT - and make sure to take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss the results and how best to proceed.

Beyond all of that, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Plan to approach 700 Gmat with the baseline of 550  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2019, 17:29
Hi TTnkl,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First of all, a Q49 is a really good start! If you can improve your quant to a 50 or 51 and make a pretty nice jump in verbal, you should be able to break 700. That said, here is some advice you can follow to improve your GMAT verbal and quant skills. Let’s start with verbal.

Let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so 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. You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice, but keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as The Economist, 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 just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning 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 under 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 those reasons are not 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 meanings that make sense. 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 repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences 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 that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order 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 have done 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 then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

Regarding quant, you seem to be in much better shape. If you can improve to a Q50+, you should be in a pretty good spot. Since you recently scored a Q44, you clearly don’t need to learn the foundations of GMAT quant; however, you still should engage in a process of linear learning and focused practice to find and fix any gaps in your quant knowledge. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. 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, 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.

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.

Regarding resources, if you feel that you need some additional materials, check out the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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Re: Plan to approach 700 Gmat with the baseline of 550  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2019, 07:30
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi TTnkl,

To start, a 550 is a solid initial CAT Score (the Average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years) - and since your Quant skills are clearly really strong, you won't necessarily have to put too much extra time into your Quant studies to score higher there. That having been said, raising a 550 to the point that you can consistently score 700+ will likely require at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

Based on your post, there are a number of details to discuss:

First, many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level, and since your plans appear book-heavy, that could potentially happen to you as well. Even the best books are limited in what they can teach you; they also can't force you to approach questions in a certain way and their explanations are often one-sided. In addition, the OG2018 and OG2019 are essentially identical (about 15% of the practice questions in the OG2019 are different from the ones in the OG2018 though) - they're great sources for practice questions, but they're not designed to teach you Tactics, patterns or the little 'secrets' of the GMAT. This is all meant to say that you'll likely end up needing to invest in some additional, non-book resources.

Second, you probably do NOT need to quit your job to study for the GMAT. If you did so, then you would probably be tempted to study too much (re: 'cramming') and potentially 'burn out' before Test Day (and that is something that we want to AVOID).

You can certainly get started with the books that you have. I suggest that you study as you like for the next 2-3 weeks, then take a NEW, FULL-LENGTH CAT - and make sure to take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss the results and how best to proceed.

Beyond all of that, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Many thanks, EMPOWERgmatRichC.

The problem is not always the problem. I agree with you that we sometimes deal with the problem by training our brain to enhance endurance and resilience, not direct to the problem.

I am not keen on a 'book heavy' strategy, my pack contains only 3 core books, I believe Gmat requires us a critical thinking rather than a cramming memory. Your guidance is to strengthen my belief, by the way.
I am playing around with some articles mentioned above by Billionaire and will take a second test after 1 month. I'll keep you updated my progress.

More information about schools:

1. Spring/Fall 2021
2. IE Business school/Queen’s University...

Apart from Gmat preparation, what other things should I do during this time to outline my profile? How do you guys balance multiple tasks?
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Re: Plan to approach 700 Gmat with the baseline of 550  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2019, 18:43
Hi TTnkl,

If you are interested in strengthening your overall application, then that is ultimately an Admissions question, so you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile and application plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

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

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: Plan to approach 700 Gmat with the baseline of 550   [#permalink] 17 Apr 2019, 18:43
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