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Manager
Joined: 17 Dec 2010
Posts: 98
Location: Australia
GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V37
GPA: 3.37
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22 Dec 2010, 03:57
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Hey Guys!

I haven't started study yet - but I'm pretty nervous and excited - and journalising the journey will hopefully help with motivation and the like. My intro is here: introduction-prospect-evaluation-106514.html

I'm a little mentally fatigued from all the years of simultaneous work and study - so I'm expected to take an absolute battering on my first diagnostic CAT - which I plan to take on Monday or Tuesday morning. I'm expecting to get a maximum of 450-500 on the diagnostic, as I feel I have a far way to go with verbal, and brushing up on "old-school" math. WHat freaks me out more is that I've seen a lot of the "700 level" questions here on the forum, and in my current form - I'm not ready to face such questions.

I'm planning on booking my GMAT exam in early June - which gives me 5 to 6 months to prepare.

I've bought the Manhattan GMAT guides, and they'll be arriving in the mail over the next few weeks. The plan is to take a diagnostic CAT, see where I stand, and then start studying in "cycles".

Cycle 0: Diagnostic CAT 1 (no study)
Cycle 1: 2 Months Study based on 80/20 rule -> CAT 2
Cycle 2: Weaknesses learned from CAT 2 -> Study for 2 weeks -> CAT 3
Cycle 3: Weaknesses learned from CAT 3 -> Study for 2 weeks -> CAT 4
Cycle 4: 1 month of solving OG12 problems and practice exams -> CAT 5
Cycle 5: Final Reviews -> CAT 6 -> Official GMAT exam

I'll try to do a weekly blog to track my progress - I'm not expecting much from the diagnostic - so I'll hopefully feel a sense of achievement if I ever end up reaching 700 by the end of it all.

I've already downloaded some really good resources from here - and I'm going to get used to calling the Error Log my best friend. The more I read these forums, the earlier I wish I started reading them - as there was a LOT I could have benefited from for my CFA Level 1 study (which I'm not too confident of passing - I was in way too deep with absolutely no background in finance - results out in Early Feb :S)

Stay posted - and any and all advice is well and truly appreciated!
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22 Dec 2010, 05:33
Hi Mackycee, your plan looks great. The only issue I see is that its a long term plan. GMAT is quite different from other standarized tests in the sense that one doesn't feel satisfied with his/her preparation till the end. Normally people, who start preparing 6 months prior to the test, dont think they are fully prepared after 6 months. So my advice will be to keep it simple, & give your 100%. Book your test date atleast 40 days before the test so that you would know that the date is coming nearer & you will have to finish it off.

Best of luck & keep us posted.
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22 Dec 2010, 08:01
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I think one CAT will hint weaknesses on that day whereas multiple CATs with 2-3 days difference will show pattern of your mistakes/weaknesses. I would suggest to reduce time between CATs and keep working on weaknesses as you move forward. I'm not an expert, but this is what I can suggest.
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Manager
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22 Dec 2010, 08:30
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Hey MackyCee,

I read pretty much the same story as you're going through... The excitement and jogging to & fro between work (job) and studies. Well am planning for GMAT between Apr-Jul (I guess). Tried to work out study plan but somehow failing to work on 'em. I guess planning to wake up early is barriering my timetable to get followed, though somehow I started with "Princeton" and finished upto lesson 9 with irregular time lines. But hope that I would be able to take up my time table soon. Need a lil motivation as am hell scared not really not scare but excited so much that it bars me from concentrating. Well in my study plan am keep 4 hrs every day starting with Princeton and going by its chapter in order. in weekends am want to study lil longer. I guess with the official GMAT would be when I feel am ready. I aint wanna score some or another but want to be among scholars the merit guys but right now am no where. Kinda the same situation you are in. Be in touch.

and guys reading this forum please please guide me to know how I can reach from base (say min scoring person) to the merit scholars.

Coz believe me I need scholarship very very much..... So please do guide me. Thanks All.
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Manager
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22 Dec 2010, 14:04
Hussain15 wrote:
Hi Mackycee, your plan looks great. The only issue I see is that its a long term plan. GMAT is quite different from other standarized tests in the sense that one doesn't feel satisfied with his/her preparation till the end. Normally people, who start preparing 6 months prior to the test, dont think they are fully prepared after 6 months. So my advice will be to keep it simple, & give your 100%. Book your test date atleast 40 days before the test so that you would know that the date is coming nearer & you will have to finish it off.

Best of luck & keep us posted.

Hussein - I'll be booking the exam very soon - so that I have a target date to study for (and while the Aussie dollar is still at parity, and the exam will only cost me $250AUD instead of$400AUD :p)

The reason I need to study over a longer term is due to my work schedule - I leave home at 7am - get back home at 8pm most days - and my brain functionality plummets after 8:30pm - so the only "weeknight study" I can do will be intermittent at best - maybe 30mins to 1hr a night of actual study - and then an hour or two of reading "GMAT Fiction" to sharpen my verbal abilities. The predominant study hours will be undertaken on the weekends - so that's why I've given myself a longer period of time. I'm planning on setting aside about 200 hours over 5-6 months (i.e. roughly 10 hours/week)
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Manager
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22 Dec 2010, 21:19
First hitch - I received an e-mail from my book supplier that they wouldn't be able to source my MGMAT Guides for an "undisclosed period of time" - and they gave me a refund

Solution - just ordered my books direct from Manhattan GMAT - shipping alone is \$94 USD :S - but it's International Priority Mail - so I should receive the books in the first week of January 2011 with any luck

Off to a flyer! :p
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24 Dec 2010, 22:00
I would just add that 6months to study might be an overkill. A focussed 2-3 months effort should do it. A long stufdy time might dilute the effort. Just my 0.04cents...
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25 Dec 2010, 01:51
mainhoon wrote:
I would just add that 6months to study might be an overkill. A focussed 2-3 months effort should do it. A long stufdy time might dilute the effort. Just my 0.04cents...

You might be right - I feel like I wanna get it all over and done with ASAP - but there's about 1300 pages of MGMAT Guide to go thru - then the OG - and with a 60-hour work week - 2 to 3 months may not be enough - I've deceided to book the exam one month into my study period - I'll have a better feel of how I'm going and how long I need.

It'd be great to be ready after 3 months - that way I can do a re-sit if I stuff it up and still be in time for the October application season.
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25 Dec 2010, 06:21
mainhoon wrote:
I would just add that 6months to study might be an overkill. A focussed 2-3 months effort should do it. A long stufdy time might dilute the effort. Just my 0.04cents...

You're so correct. I felt the same after 5-6 months of inconsistent study due to long hours at work and other commitments. After studying all through these months, I keep forgetting strategies and formulas.
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Manager
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28 Dec 2010, 00:49
Just did my first CAT (did it raw without any Study) - and I surprised myself slightly. It wasn't totally half-assed - I'd say I used 80% of my ass - but I had come home from a work-out, was feeling lazy, and was also feeling anxious. According to the MGMAT report print-out, I finished quants in 58mins 45secs, and Verbal in 55mins 13secs

Results are as follows:
Q43,V35 -> 640 (80% Percentile)

NOTE: I totally skipped the writing section.

I've got the excel reports attached if you're interested

I was able to unlock quite a few 700 level problems on quants - however I only got 1 of them correct.

I've got a good place to start from now - I will go over the diagnostic CAT tomorrow, and start populating my error log.

My books are arriving from the USA on 31/12/2010 hopefully.

This is all very very exciting! I'm hoping to improve on my 640 when it's time to do my first serious CAT. Since I did quite a bit better than my forecasted maximum score of "450-500" - I will be doing my first serious CAT in 4-6 weeks instead of 2 months. I'm now slightly more optimistic of achieving a 700 by May.

I think the reason I was probably thinking I would only get 450-500 on the first CAT is because there are so many geniuses on this forum, and I would sometimes feel nauseous when presented with some of the problems in the GMAT Quant & Verbal forums...

@RG1 - I can see where ur coming from re: taking CATS in quick succession to determine a pattern of weakness - I will be taking CAT3, CAT4 & CAT 5 within 1 week of each other. This will leave me with CAT6 to use to test how much I've improved my weaknesses. This also leaves me with the two GMATPrep CATs to test myself on a few weeks before D-Day.

I'm booming with excitement - can't wait for my MGMAT guides to get here, and to get started on my error log - and start tucking into some of the 700-level questions here on the forums!

EDIT: My four worst topic areas are:
Quants:
- Number Properties
- Algebra

Verbal:
- Critical Reasoning
- Sentence Correction

I'm going to take CAT2 once I finish the 4 respective MGMAT guides
Attachments

File comment: MGMAT Results Printout
CAT1 - Diagnostic.xlsx [23.08 KiB]

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Last edited by MackyCee on 03 Jan 2011, 01:20, edited 1 time in total.
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03 Jan 2011, 00:57
End of Study Week 1:

- Was a pretty productive week - did 3 hours of study on NYE am (from 9am - 12pm) and took the rest of the night off, and all of Saturday off.
- I did 4 hours on Sunday, and 6 hours today (Monday)

Milestones:
- Finished MGMAT Guide 1 - Number Properties (Barring Chapter 13 - which is the "Advanced OG Problem Set")
- Learnt the importance of not trying to study for more than 4 hours. I absolutely hit a wall in my final hour on Monday.

I'm saving the "Advanced OG problem sets" of each of the guides till the end of my prep - so I can mix and match questions. Does anyone advise against this approach?

I can see the merit of solving the advanced questions now and consolidating my knowledge...

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06 Jan 2011, 21:43
1
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Nearing End of Study Week 2:

Has been another productive week - here's the wrap

Milestones:
- Close to finishing MGMAT Critical Reasoning Guide. As of now, I've finished 6 of 8 chapters - and have smashed thru the end of chapter questions at an 85% success rate. Haven't done any of the OG questions though
- Read a lot of posts on the GMATClub forums, and picked up tricks in RTD, Algebra, Inequalities, Geometry and SC
- Smashed thru n2739178's flash-cards on number properties, and I feel like I've cleared up my weaknesses in this area (my main area of Quant weakness on MGMAT CAT 1) - still have small issues with some exponent combos which I will sort out very soon

As a result of the progress I've made this week, I'm feeling quite brave - and I'm thinking of taking CAT2 in 9 days time. I'll be aiming for between a 660 and 680 in CAT2 (to build on my 640 in the diagnostic) - I don't think a 20-40 point improvement in 3 weeks sounds like too much of a stretch...(hopefully!)

Although I've still got a lot more to "conquer" on the Quant side of things, I feel very comfortable with CR now, and will be a lot more comfortable with SC by next week.

I'll also have my MGMAT mock laminated spiral bound booklet and dry-erase pen to play with next week - so I want to try to perfectly simulate conditions for CAT2.

I will not be attempting AWA until CAT5 (I will do two COMPLETE GMAT runs a week before the real thing).

Do the GMATPrep CATs provided by GMAC include an AWA part?
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06 Jan 2011, 23:46
Nice to see a fellow traveler on the road to an 'excellent' score! I saw your post at my thread and thought I'd drop in and say hi.
I am planning to write the GMAT in the third week of Feb. From your time-line, I think you will be taking the test at nearly the same time, right?
Oh, and kudos to you too my friend
All the best...
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1. How to Review and Analyze your Mistakes (Post by BB at GMAT Club)

2. 4 Steps to Get the Most out out of your CATs (Manhattan GMAT Blog)

My Experience With GMAT

1. From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT

2. Quest to do my Best - My GMAT Journey Log

Manager
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07 Jan 2011, 00:53
AmrithS wrote:
Nice to see a fellow traveler on the road to an 'excellent' score! I saw your post at my thread and thought I'd drop in and say hi.
I am planning to write the GMAT in the third week of Feb. From your time-line, I think you will be taking the test at nearly the same time, right?
Oh, and kudos to you too my friend
All the best...

It'll all depend on how well I do on this next CAT

If I get 680 or above, I'll be booking the GMAT test date close to yours (in 6 or 7 weeks time).

So, 680 in the next CAT - 23/2/2011
660 in the next CAT - 9/3/2011
640 in the next CAT - give up on my dream of going to Oxford haha

I know I'll be ready for the GMAT, coz when I type in 9/3/2011 - I automatically thought to myself "9 is a multiple of 3" hahaha
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07 Jan 2011, 02:59
The deadline for Harvard is 31st March I believe You'll be just in time, I guess!
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1. How to Review and Analyze your Mistakes (Post by BB at GMAT Club)

2. 4 Steps to Get the Most out out of your CATs (Manhattan GMAT Blog)

My Experience With GMAT

1. From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT

2. Quest to do my Best - My GMAT Journey Log

Manager
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07 Jan 2011, 17:54
I woke up this morning, and said to myself "eff it - I'm gonna do a CAT today"

I did one...

Not good...

620 [Q43, V32] - No improvement in Quants + Downgrade in Verbal

I should have waited to finish off that SC book - coz I got absolutely hammered by SC in CAT2. I thought I'd improved my CR, but the CR questions were out of this world...

I can say with confidence - that my confidence has been shaken

I'm not gonna sit another CAT until all 8 guides are finished and thoroughly learnt - and I've gone thru a decent amount of OG questions, and populated and mastered an error log.

I'll book my official GMAT for the last week of April
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Posts: 834
Location: India
Schools: Haas '18, Kelley '18
GMAT 1: 650 Q44 V37
GMAT 2: 710 Q48 V40
GMAT 3: 750 Q51 V40
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WE: Education (Education)
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07 Jan 2011, 23:09
I'm tempted to take those mock tests too! However, I am resisting the pull :D
I know I am not ready yet, but still there is this compelling desire to take a mock test!
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1. How to Review and Analyze your Mistakes (Post by BB at GMAT Club)

2. 4 Steps to Get the Most out out of your CATs (Manhattan GMAT Blog)

My Experience With GMAT

1. From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT

2. Quest to do my Best - My GMAT Journey Log

Manager
Joined: 17 Dec 2010
Posts: 98
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15 Jul 2011, 04:25
Hey All - after 7 really hard months in my personal life and career - I'm back from the dead - and I started my prep from scratch on Monday! I'm feeling healthier and happier, and I'm starting a new job on Monday, which is 1km from my house, which will give me an hour of daily "after-work" study time. I think the combination of all of those things will put me in a prime "mental health" position, and will go a long way to doing well on the GMAT, and with the rest of my MBA application.

This week, I've done 210 questions from OG11 (110 Quant Questions, 100 Verbal Questions). So far, the questions have been pretty easy, and I've got 85% of the Quant Questions right, and 83% of the Verbal questions right. But I think the OG11 questions are listed in order of difficulty, so, this is a good confidence builder I suppose!

Gonna be doing MGMAT CAT3 next weekend to fill my error log up with some 700-level questions :p. Will hopefully have done half of the OG11 questions by then too. I'm waiting till I've finished all of the OG11 questions before I get stuck into the MGMAT guides again - focusing ONLY on my weaknesses

The aim is to sit the real thing in the last week of October...

Stay tuned!
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23 Jul 2011, 01:45
Did another CAT to see how much I'd forgotten over the past 6 months, and in light of the 5 or 6 hours of review I've done during the week - I got a Q42V34 630. I unlocked several 700 level questions, but got them ALL wrong.

I've still got about 70 "Hard" PS, 100 "Hard" DS questions in OG11. I've also go all of the "Hard" type OG12 quant questions, and all of the "Hard" type questions in Quant Review Ed 2. I've also got 3 sets of MGMAT sets of 700+ level questions to review, and redo. I'm also yet to touch the MGMAT SC guide.

I've still got ALL of the "Hard" type Verbal questions from OG11 and OG12, as well as all of the "HARD" type questions from Verbal Review Ed 2. I've also got 3 sets of MGMAT sets of 700+ level questions to review, and redo.

Considering the above, I think I've now found my weakness, and I'm gonna AT LEAST finish all of the OG11 questions and the MGMAT SC Guide before re-attempting.

I'm setting the date for MGMAT CAT4 to the weekend of Saturday/Sunday Sept 10/11. That gives me 6 weeks of hardcore study, and then some more time to do up to another 10 CATs (MGMAT 5 & 6, Kaplan 1-6, GMATPrep 1 & 2). As soon as I hit about 680 on 2 of the Kaplan CATs, I will book my exam and do the two GMATPrep CATs just before the real thing.

Stay tuned!
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23 Jul 2011, 04:38
After looking at the Quant questions, I answered all but 3 correctly when I was reviewing my wrong answers - all VERY STUPID careless mistakes - it has somewhat boosted my confidence, but I just need to do more CATs under pressure so I can learn how to read questions more thoroughly, and stop making stupid mistakes and assumptions.
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