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Question about Resources: GMAT Quantum or EMPOWER GMAT?

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New post 19 Oct 2019, 21:53
Planning on using one of these to supplement my Manhattan GMAT course. Was wondering if anyone has used either GMAT Quantum or EMPOWER GMAT in the past, and if they were useful. Any and all help would be appreciated!
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New post 20 Oct 2019, 03:14
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Rewcifer - Welcome to GMAT Club!

You need a more structured study plan and EMPOWERgmat is probably one of the best options. I highly recommend EMPOWERgmat; the course covers concepts very effectively and offers some of the best strategies for tackling both Quant, and Verbal questions, and is one of the main reasons I have comfortably scored 700+ in all practice tests. All the best!
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Re: Question about Resources: GMAT Quantum or EMPOWER GMAT?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2019, 11:13
Rewcifer wrote:
Planning on using one of these to supplement my Manhattan GMAT course. Was wondering if anyone has used either GMAT Quantum or EMPOWER GMAT in the past, and if they were useful. Any and all help would be appreciated!

If you buy manhattan gmat course, they will give you access to "interact". Interact on-demand materials is more than enough to support your study, i guess.
If you want to buy the above, you can. Both courses (GMAT Quantum or EMPOWER GMAT) are perfectly fine..
In Quantam gmat, Debral explain every official math questions perfectly. I think, Debral is awesome as teacher/course instructor..

For Empower gmat:
This course is very helpful if you're a good listener (i mean your english listening ability has to be good enough)! Michael Raben (i am sorry if i misspell the name) discussed their course with a perfect way.
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New post 20 Oct 2019, 12:06
Hi Rewcifer,

From your post, it sounds as if you've put in some study time already, but it's not clear how much. 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:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) Have you used any other study materials besides the course you mentioned?
3) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your overall goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Rich
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New post 20 Oct 2019, 21:19
Thanks everyone for your responses! I'm going to respond to everyone generally rather than separately.

I've passively been studying on and off since February, generally only about 4 to 5 hours a week on average. I generally have a few good weeks where I'm studying twice during the work week, two hours a day, and then four hours on Saturdays. I unfortunately do this for a bit, and then I drop off significantly. This is partially due to poor workload management, overwhelming myself with study goals, and the initial pang of realizing that perhaps I do need to start right back at the basics.

As an English major, I've been scoring relatively below average with little to no preparation on the Verbal.

My base was a 530 Manhattan CAT test, followed by second Manhattan CAT that dipped to a 470. I think it was after that test in July that I've had a hard time getting back on the horse.

The 530 breakdown is as follows (taken on 4/27):
Quant 30 19 %
Verbal 33 69 %
Total 530 34%

The 470 breakdown is as follows (taken on 7/23):
Quant 25 11 %
Verbal 31 62 %
Total 470 22%

I have avoided using any of my actual tests from the GMAC until I get the basics down. I have all of those, access to the GMAC online resource, Manhattan Prep books, as well as one more option, either Quantum or EMPOWER.

As for goals:

4) What is your overall goal score?
My quant is atrocious, and it's where I will likely have to spend the bulk of my time. As for a target score, I'm shooting for anything 670 and above. I initially thought GMAT Quantum would be a solid choice because it is all actual GMAT problems, but then I took a trial run of EMPOWER GMAT and enjoyed the straightforward "Test it" approach. Just not sure how closely their questions are aligned with actual GMAT questions.

5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
Honestly, as soon as possible. I've dragged this out for so long, I just want to give it a shot and see how it goes. It's really when I feel like I'm ready, though.

6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
Since the part-time programs I'm interested in are rolling admissions, as soon as possible.

7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
Booth and Kellogg part time programs. I live in Chicago :)


I'd also like to mention that I am terrified of this test. The amount of anxiety that comes with just thinking about studying is sometimes insane. Any help with overcoming those fears would also be appreciated. I'm committed to this path and I'll do what it takes to get passed these hurdles!


Thanks again for any and all additional insight!
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New post 21 Oct 2019, 13:41
Hi Rewcifer,

The extra information that you've provided is really helpful - and it defines some specific changes that you have to make to your overall routine to hit all of your goals (both your Score Goal and Application Goals).

To start, you've named some highly-competitive Schools, so beyond needing a strong GMAT Score, you'll need a strong OVERALL profile AND you'll need to properly 'market yourself' to each individual Program that you apply to. While I understand that you want to apply as soon as possible, there is NO benefit to 'rushing in' an application if that application will not be strong enough to earn you an invite to that School.

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores - with 15-25 hours a week of study (or more) during that time. From what you describe, your studies have been somewhat light and inconsistent; you will have to commit to a more structured and consistent study routine to hit your Score Goal.

It's been almost 3 months since you last took a practice CAT, so I suggest that you take one of the Official GMAC CATs sometime soon (perhaps this weekend) - and 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.

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New post 27 Oct 2019, 19:04
Hi Rich,

Took your advice, and got a 570.

Quant: 31
Verbal: 37

Still sort of middling around the 500's. Was hoping you could use this as an opportunity to provide some more advice!

PS: You're absolutely right about being patient. I suppose I should revise my answer to say that "I'll plan to when the score is adequate to creating a killer application package."
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New post 27 Oct 2019, 19:33
Hi Rewcifer,

This recent CAT Score is solid - and it shows that you have retained a reasonable amount of what you have learned so far. The next logical step is to dig into these results in more detail to define what specific areas you should put some extra time into.

"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?

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Rich
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New post 27 Oct 2019, 19:46
Hi Rich,

Quant:
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
-I'm confident that a couple of the quant problems were silly mistakes. Those would include ratio-type problems and a fraction issue.
-For Verbal, it's hard to tell if they were silly mistakes. See below.

2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
-For quant, the majority of it is largely me forgetting how to do certain equations, overcomplicating, etc.
-This refers to quadratic problems, geometry problems, algebra problems, and even problems that are simplistic in setup, but are worded in such a way as to invoke confusion
-Translating math problems is also extremely hard for me still

3) Because the question was too hard?
-I would say that my second point relates to this. I'm either having a lot of difficulty translating them, or executing
-I rarely feel this way about verbal, though I will say that I've been down to the wire a few times trying to decide between two choices//

4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
-Rarely low on time for quant. I typically don't wait to remember a question. I'll know in 30 seconds or less if I'm completely lost, or if I have an idea of how to execute
-For Verbal, if I feel like I've been wasting too much time, I typically just guess out of two and move on

5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?
-A lot. Most, if not 95% the reading comprehension and critical reasoning questions. I did really well with sentence correction.
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New post 27 Oct 2019, 20:01
Hi Rewcifer,

The more specific that you can be with your answers to these questions, the better. What you've described is a bit vague - and right now, we need to know if you actually have the ability to correctly answer most of the questions that you got wrong or not. If you don't have the ability, then that's a different issue than if you DO have the ability - and it's your process/Tactics/organization/etc that needs improvement. Then there's the issue of your general math/grammar knowledge - do you know all of the necessary math formulas and grammar/idiom rules or not? Proper review of a CAT should take about as long as the CAT initially took you to complete, but it's not clear if you did that type of detailed review or not. I could offer you some general advice at this point, but if you want to be efficient with this next phase of your studies, then we really need to be as specific as we can with the details of your studies and your CAT performances.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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New post 27 Oct 2019, 20:35
Totally understand! Sorry I wasn't as clear as I could have been. I did review the test yesterday, but just didn't think that listing every problem was something I should do. Overall, I think quant is "I know 40% of what I should know before I even think about tactics/organization," while Verbal, I believe, is very much at the point of just trying to hone in on certain problem types that are giving me a lot of trouble. Hopefully the below is what you're looking for:

Quant:
-Overall, I do not have the ability to correctly answer most of the quant questions I got wrong. I believe I need to review the basic math for a number of topics. It's even hard for me to explain where I went wrong, so sorry if this is still vague.
-I do not have the ability to answer data sufficiency questions. I guess every single one of them, so even for the ones I got right (3 in total), it feels pointless to count those. Even something so simple as divisibility and primes in a data sufficiency question stumps me
-For questions that required any algebraic translation, I was lost.
-For questions that involved algebraic equations, such as the quadratic equation, I couldn't solve
-Percentage questions that involved taking 60% of 40% and so on I feel like I could solve generally, but tactically I'm poor at putting those questions down on paper effectively
-The same goes for ratio questions, where I lose myself in the details and am not mapping them as well as I can
-Probability problems I'm poor at. E.g. "12 kids are selected in a class of 18 at random to do X activity, and there are 2/3 boys and 1/3 girls. What's the probability that the 12 kids selected will comprise 2/3 boys"

Overall, I believe I'm just still not confident enough with the basics to even think about how to tactically cover the quant portion of the test

Verbal:
-The sentence correction problems I got wrong had to do with modifiers, structure (so, syntax essentially), and I messed up a subject verb agreement. As an English major, that one was an embarrassing miss. I also got a pronoun one wrong that I think was a total fluke; it was a parallelism issue.
-The reading comprehension problems I got wrong were the "According to the passage, all of the following are true EXCEPT:" kind of questions. I have trouble narrowing those down sometimes, so I think a strategy may help there
-Also, the critical reasoning problems were also tough. Especially the ones that read like "Which of the following, if true, indicates a flaw in the reasoning above?" I'm not sure how to practice those from a more strategic perspective. I end up guessing a lot of those.
-Another set of problems that kept annoying me were the ones that read like "It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following statements is true of..." Inference is tough for me, because that just leaves every answer to be vaguely right in my eyes. I don't have a decent tactic to tackle those just yet.
-Even the thesis-driven "The primary purpose of the passage is to" questions I got wrong as well more often than I thought.
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Re: Question about Resources: GMAT Quantum or EMPOWER GMAT?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2019, 19:47
Hi Rewcifer,

From everything that you have described, it sounds as though your prior studies were centered around working through lots of practice questions without a set approach to learning content and Tactics. If you're handling each individual Quant and Verbal question on a case-by-case basis - instead of thinking in terms of the patterns involved - then that would explain why you have not earned any big improvements in your scores just yet. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

Since you will have to work on your general 'math' skills, you might want to pause your GMAT studies for a bit. For free math practice and help, I recommend that you set up an account at Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org). The site is completely free and makes the learning a bit more fun and 'game-like' (as opposed to the dry academic approach taken by most books). While the site is vast, you should limit your studies to basic Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry. After spending a little time re-building your math skills, you can restart your GMAT studies.

1) Assuming that another 3 months of study would probably be required, going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Question about Resources: GMAT Quantum or EMPOWER GMAT?   [#permalink] 28 Oct 2019, 19:47
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