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Should I even bother?

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Should I even bother?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2018, 00:12
I'm not trying to sound like a quitter, but in my 29, I had to start Math from the scratch just for the GMAT. I have a tutor who is helping me, and first he started giving me a little bit of everything to see what I can and what not... apparently, I've forgotten everything since college, and using calculator all the time did not help either! I studied Economics and was doing advanced algebra at one point. Never liked it, I even hated it, but I was able to do it and go through the college years. After that I was super happy I wont need Math and easily forgot it.

I guess my question is, is there even a hope that I can score decent or should I give up on my idea to study Management in grad school and do something else? A decent range in my understanding is something between 680-720. I would not even try to go higher than 720, since I am not that confident in myself. I need high scores for scholarships.

I have a full-time job and meet with my tutor twice a week for 1.5 hours to work on Math. The rest of the time I only have 2, and rarely 3 hours after work when I can do Math at home (tired..after work. not the best time). I think if I keep this pace it may take me 6 months+ to get comfortable to even try mock tests. Verbal part does not scare me, I tried several sample questions and scored ok. Of course I am working on improving it too, just less than on Math.

If I am struggling with it now, how much will I struggle when I start the school? Should anyone like me, who is weak in Math even try to do this?
How many of us are here who struggled but made it? I need some help or advise, assurance, critics, anything to help me figure out my choice.
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New post 11 Dec 2018, 17:41
Hi Leyla17,

To start, many Test Takers find some part of the GMAT to be challenging, so you're not alone. That having been said, while you do NOT need to be a 'math genius' to score at a high level in the Quant section, you do have to be able to work through standard Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry - by hand - without making little mistakes. You'll also have to learn all of the necessary rules, formulas and patterns, but it's worth remembering that the Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking' test that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it.

Beyond that, the score range that you're interested in is essentially the 85th percentile and higher, so if you want to earn that type of Score on the GMAT, then you're going to have to work hard for it (in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections). The GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level; you have to be willing to do the work though and it would likely be easier for you if you did not have a negative emotional reaction to doing 'math' (you don't have to "love" it, but a negative attitude will just make this whole process more difficult).

Before we can discuss how best to proceed, 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 much of your time has been on GMAT study vs. 'math' study?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) Have you taken any practice CATs/mocks yet? How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: Should I even bother?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2018, 23:14
Leyla17 wrote:
I guess my question is, is there even a hope that I can score decent or should I give up on my idea to study Management in grad school and do something else? A decent range in my understanding is something between 680-720. I would not even try to go higher than 720, since I am not that confident in myself. I need high scores for scholarships.
The good news is that the GMAT is not trying to test how much you know. Rather, it wants to test your logical reasoning ability. There is some basic math that you'll need to become comfortable with, but it's absolutely worth it.

Also, don't worry right now about whether you'll be able to solve tough questions on exam day. Focus only on mastering the fundamentals for now.
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New post 11 Dec 2018, 23:55
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Leyla17,

Before we can discuss how best to proceed, 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 much of your time has been on GMAT study vs. 'math' study?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) Have you taken any practice CATs/mocks yet? How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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


Thank you Rich! I appreciate your detailed answer.

1) I started taking classes on Math and verbal in the beginning of November. But 3 weeks in I had to stop my verbal because my tutor was no use, and I was already far behind in Math, so decided I need my full focus on this right now. Verbal is easy to practice by watching really informative youtube videos. However, Math is a bit too complicated to me to learn it just by watching youtube.
2) I am doing Math by Kaplan and Barrons right now. I heard Manhattan is good, but I also heard it's harder and I don't want to intimidate myself.
3) No practice tests yet:) Guess I have a long way to go to get there. Currently, I am learning basic stuff in Algebra and Arithmetic computations, and will start taking mock exams once I'm done with this beginner course.

Goals:
I was planning to start school in Fall of '19 and take GMAT in late February -early March. Turns out I am late for that, because if I want to apply for scholarships I have to send my applications AND test scores in January. This is too early with my current Math. Finding schools is another big issue for me right now, after several months of research, I decided I will postpone it until I have a good score on GMAT to even think about any of them. All of the good schools, B schools or even below, require GMAT. Even if they don't or if they waive for work experience (rarely) you still need GMAT scores to apply for scholarships & assistantships. So again, there is no way around it.

There is no issue here for me to practice until I get good at it and score enough, even if it means I need to apply later than Fall semester, the issue is does one really need a business school if he/she is not good at Math period? If I struggle with this now, how will it be like at school when I'll take finance and accounting classes?
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New post 12 Dec 2018, 00:01
AjiteshArun wrote:
Leyla17 wrote:
I guess my question is, is there even a hope that I can score decent or should I give up on my idea to study Management in grad school and do something else? A decent range in my understanding is something between 680-720. I would not even try to go higher than 720, since I am not that confident in myself. I need high scores for scholarships.
The good news is that the GMAT is not trying to test how much you know. Rather, it wants to test your logical reasoning ability. There is some basic math that you'll need to become comfortable with, but it's absolutely worth it.

Also, don't worry right now about whether you'll be able to solve tough questions on exam day. Focus only on mastering the fundamentals for now.


Thank you, AjiteshArun! Yes, first I started with problem solving and statistics, square roots and etc. then I was like I have forgotten it all. I feel like a 5 year old and, to be honest, it is draining me down and makes me proud at the same time. I'd love to get comfortable with Math in general, not just for the exam. So remembering basic stuff is still helpful.
Doing this on top of a full-time job and other life responsibilities makes it a bit harder, I keep hearing how people say if you do it only 1-2 hours a day don't bother at all, ot won't give you anything unless you do full time gmat prep for like 3-4 months straight.
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New post 12 Dec 2018, 10:31
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Hi Leyla17,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, we have to change the narrative here about your not being able to do GMAT math, OK? Too often, students convince themselves that they are “just not math people.” What a ridiculous, harmful, and self-limiting thought. As a result of this thinking, these people often score significantly lower on the GMAT than they would have if they had revised their beliefs about how math skills are gained. If they instead believed in the power of hard work to gain math proficiency, as do experts who study math education, these students would set themselves up for higher GMAT scores, better degrees, and higher-paying jobs.

The thought that someone is not a math person is just as crazy as the thought that someone is not a music person, or a ping-pong person, or an English person. How does a person become skilled in music? He or she works extremely hard. How does a person become good at ping-pong? He or she works extremely hard. How does a person become good at English? He or she works extremely hard. So, how does a person excel at math? He or she works extremely hard!

The biggest secret about GMAT math is that anyone can master it if he or she is willing to put in the work, which is, by the way, maybe two to three times the amount of work that many students expect to put into their GMAT math prep, or even more in some cases. When it comes to GMAT math, you can, without exaggeration, outwork your competition to outscore them. If your competition is studying GMAT math for 100 hours, then you study GMAT math for 200 hours. You will be about twice as skilled as they are. If your competition is studying GMAT math for 200 hours, then you study GMAT math for 300 hours. You will be about 50 percent more skilled than they are. When you take the test, your work will show.

Don’t feel for even one second that people who score high on GMAT quant are innately, or genetically, talented at math. They are not. They just learned more about math than the competition. To use an analogy, mastering GMAT math is much, much more about the time you spend on the water practicing the art of sailing than it is about the boat in which you are sailing.

If you’d like to learn more about the myth of the “math person” and “non-math person,” check out this wonderful article to see what some experts have to say. I think you’ll see that the consensus is strikingly clear: You can work your way to strong math skills. And, yes, you can work your way to an impressive GMAT quant score.

All that said, I have a few questions. To start, have you taken any practice exams to get a baseline GMAT score? For how long have you been studying and by when do you plan to apply to business schools?

If you need any specific advice on how to improve your GMAT math skills, feel free to reach out, and I can provide some detailed advice. You also may find it helpful to read this article about how to improve your GMAT quant score.

Let’s do this!!
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New post 12 Dec 2018, 18:30
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Hi Leyla17,

There's no way around the fact that you're going to have to learn to do math by hand. That having been said, you could probably make this entire process easier if you do the proper research and plan ahead. To start, we need a better sense of the specific Programs that you're interested in (in that way, you have to think about what you want that Degree to do for your career - and you might have to reverse-engineer your plans around THAT end Goal).

With a list of Schools/Programs, you'll be able to research and define what you'll "need" to properly apply - and there will be a number of variables to think about. You can also learn whether the Programs accept the GRE as part of the application process. Many Test Takers find the GRE to be easier than the GMAT, so if you can apply (and potentially earn a Scholarship) with a GRE Score, then that's also something to consider.

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New post 13 Dec 2018, 02:01
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Leyla17,

There's no way around the fact that you're going to have to learn to do math by hand. That having been said, you could probably make this entire process easier if you do the proper research and plan ahead. To start, we need a better sense of the specific Programs that you're interested in (in that way, you have to think about what you want that Degree to do for your career - and you might have to reverse-engineer your plans around THAT end Goal).

With a list of Schools/Programs, you'll be able to research and define what you'll "need" to properly apply - and there will be a number of variables to think about. You can also learn whether the Programs accept the GRE as part of the application process. Many Test Takers find the GRE to be easier than the GMAT, so if you can apply (and potentially earn a Scholarship) with a GRE Score, then that's also something to consider.

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


Thank you :) If we dig deeper here you will see that I failed in my initial research, as most of the programs I was interested in (MS in HR) did not require GMAT or the GRE. So I made my plans around it and set a goal to start school in September.
Only after I contacted the schools I found out that scores from either one are required if you want to apply for merit scholarships or assistantships, and also it makes you stand out as a strong candidate. I plan to apply to any kind of aid, as I cannot afford a graduate degree out of pocket. When I realized I need of the of the two, I decided to pursue a more generalized degree than MS in HR, like MBA with a concentration in either Marketing or Human Resources or general MBA.
I don't know if that gave you a better picture, I agree I sound lost (which I am), I could use some good advise and help.
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New post 13 Dec 2018, 14:19
Hi Leyla17,

I suspect that there are probably a few specific Schools that you're already interested in - and almost all Programs provide plenty of information about class profiles, average Test Scores, etc. THAT data is really important as it gives us a way to measure how close you will be to having what you 'need' to apply. In that same way, Scholarship Programs will almost certain have their own requirements. Since our immediate concerns are about how you might perform on the GMAT or GRE, then we really need to define what your Goal Score should be (based on what you think you'll need for your applications). Those numbers might also help you to narrow down your choices. It's possible that you won't necessarily need a really high Score to get into a Program that interests you, but right now it doesn't sound like you have that information yet.

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New post 18 Dec 2018, 23:09
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Leyla17,

I suspect that there are probably a few specific Schools that you're already interested in - and almost all Programs provide plenty of information about class profiles, average Test Scores, etc. THAT data is really important as it gives us a way to measure how close you will be to having what you 'need' to apply. In that same way, Scholarship Programs will almost certain have their own requirements. Since our immediate concerns are about how you might perform on the GMAT or GRE, then we really need to define what your Goal Score should be (based on what you think you'll need for your applications). Those numbers might also help you to narrow down your choices. It's possible that you won't necessarily need a really high Score to get into a Program that interests you, but right now it doesn't sound like you have that information yet.

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


Hi Rich,

You are absolutely right. I only have maybe 2 schools that are on my list and whom I have talked to and confirmed that they do offer scholarships to international graduate students. Maybe you will be able to advise me, I'd very appreciate it- do state universities in the US usually offer any financial help to international students or do I have better chances with private universities??

EducationUSA adviser told me that the more expensive the school is the better chance you have to receive scholarships. And with this in mind, I have been aiming for top schools. As I was contacting some of them I found out that not all of them are:
1) happy to provide scholarships
2) DO provide either merit based or need based scholarships, but they only cover up to 50-70 % of just tuition which leaves another 30-40k to cover the rest depending on location and length of the program
3) Are very competitive (that's reasonable) and graduate assistantships and etc. are very competitive as well, so, unless you have 750+ on GMAT and maybe 110+ on TOEFL, more than 3.5 GPA and lots of extra curricular activities and etc. most likely you won't get anything. And that is not even a guarantee.

So I am lost. There are literally a couple of schools I could try to afford with little help from outside scholarships (assuming I get any), but they are not top rated, and everybody around me keeps saying that unless you go to a top school for MBA there is no point in doing it at all. That just makes everything even more confusing.
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New post 19 Dec 2018, 14:21
Hi Leyla17,

I'm not an Admissions Expert - and I'm not an Expert on any individual School/Program - so I can't tell you which Schools offer which Scholarships. Gathering all of that information is something that you'll have to take care of. Thankfully, each School has its own Admissions Department, and I suspect that those Departments would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

From an organizational standpoint, you should start by defining what type of Degree you want (by extension, what do you want your Degree to do for you?). Once you've defined that goal, you can research the Schools that provide the type of Degree that you're looking for - then define the potential Scholarship opportunities, the type of GMAT/GRE Score that you might need, etc. It's going to be a lot of work, but - by definition - earning an Advanced Degree is not supposed to be easy, so you have to embrace all of these challenges to make sure that you are working towards the outcome that you're after.

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Re: Should I even bother? &nbs [#permalink] 19 Dec 2018, 14:21
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