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Starting my GMAT Studying, need advice on study methods and scheduling

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Starting my GMAT Studying, need advice on study methods and scheduling [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2018, 10:40
Hello everyone,

I recently just started my studying for the GMAT's and I'm excited for this journey. I took my first-pretest without reading too much about the exam. My first CAT test was taken with Manhattan prep, with a score of 580 Q39 V31 and IR of 1.63 (ouch!!). To be honest, I went into this not knowing ANYTHING about the exam or what to really expect. I finished the essay portion with about 10 minutes left, IR I ended up not completing (left blank) 2-3 of the questions (I now know guessing is better than leaving them blank). For both the quant and verbal sections, I had close to 10-20 minutes left on BOTH.. so I probably should slow down my pace and focus more on the problems haha.

Anyway, I just purchased and received my complete set of MGMAT books, all 10 of them. I'm not used to studying on my own but I think I can do it, I just need help setting up a schedule. I don't start my full time job until the summer of 2018, and I'd like to get the exam out of the way prior to working. My goal is to score 720+ on the exam, and I understand going from 580-720+ will take a lot of commitment. I can study Full-time as I'm currently out of school and my new job doesn't start for a few months.

What are you recommendations on where to start studying from the guides? Should I just follow the flow of the book guides from 0 - 9? How much should I study or get through a day?

Thanks for your time and any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!
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New post 07 Feb 2018, 11:35
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Hi 0mni,

A 580 is a solid initial CAT score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years). You also appear to have given yourself plenty of time to study - which is good. That having been said, raising a 580 to a 720+ will likely take at least 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. You will also likely need to invest in some additional study materials besides the books that you currently possess. At this point though, you can certain 'start off' with the materials that you have - and plan to take a new FULL-LENGTH CAT in a few weeks (so that we can gauge your progress). Once you have that next score, you should post back here so that we can discuss the results and how best to proceed.

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New post 07 Feb 2018, 11:40
Thanks for your response. Would you recommend I skip the MGMAT Roadmap book and get right into the quant and verbal books?

Thanks!
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New post 08 Feb 2018, 19:58
Answered my own question, halfway-ish through the roadmap book and it's VERY helpful! Great foundation for those doing self-study and have no idea where to start. Just from what I've read so far, I'll be purchasing the OG questions from GMAC as well to put what I'm learning from guides into actual problems.
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0mni wrote:
Answered my own question, halfway-ish through the roadmap book and it's VERY helpful! Great foundation for those doing self-study and have no idea where to start. Just from what I've read so far, I'll be purchasing the OG questions from GMAC as well to put what I'm learning from guides into actual problems.

OG questions are must have stuffs and they are the closest replica of original GMAT questions. I suggest you buy OG guide, Verbal Review, QP1, EP1 and EP2 and start practicing and reviewing(VERY IMPORTANT) the OG questions once you finish all the concepts from MGMAT.
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New post 08 Feb 2018, 20:50
saswata4s wrote:
0mni wrote:
Answered my own question, halfway-ish through the roadmap book and it's VERY helpful! Great foundation for those doing self-study and have no idea where to start. Just from what I've read so far, I'll be purchasing the OG questions from GMAC as well to put what I'm learning from guides into actual problems.

OG questions are must have stuffs and they are the closest replica of original GMAT questions. I suggest you buy OG guide, Verbal Review, QP1, EP1 and EP2 and start practicing and reviewing(VERY IMPORTANT) the OG questions once you finish all the concepts from MGMAT.


Thanks for your response! I do have a question in regards to these GMAC resources, as I haven't seen or read about them quite yet. How are these software/books laid out? Are the books full of questions, or are they guides+ questions like the MGMAT book? Do GMAC OG questions come in book and online form, or just one or the other?

Any information would be greatly appreciated!
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New post 08 Feb 2018, 22:04
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0mni wrote:
Thanks for your response! I do have a question in regards to these GMAC resources, as I haven't seen or read about them quite yet. How are these software/books laid out? Are the books full of questions, or are they guides+ questions like the MGMAT book? Do GMAC OG questions come in book and online form, or just one or the other?

Any information would be greatly appreciated!


There are general guidelines about the GMAT test and each section, but no study guidelines. The books mainly contain questions, answers, and explanations.

The questions are best in class.
The explanations are worst in class :-) ! Sorry, I am exaggerating, but the explanations are not so good. Come visit GC for better explanations :-) . I suggest you get a OG-2018 first and get the flavor of actual GMAT questions. This is what GMAC says about OG:

The GMAT® Official Guide 2018 helps you improve your quantitative, verbal and integrated reasoning skills with over 900 practice questions and answer explanations from real exams. Focus your study on where you need the most help. This guide offers:

900 real questions from past GMAT exams, including 130 never-before-seen questions
An overview of the exam to help you get familiar with the content and format
Detailed answer explanations that explain how the test maker thinks about a question
Actual essay topics, sample responses, and scoring information
Comprehensive math review
Questions organized in order of difficulty from easiest to hardest
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New post 08 Feb 2018, 22:31
Got it! Thanks again for your help!

I have heard OG explanations can be dodgy, so I'll definitely come to GC for better ones :).
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New post 08 Feb 2018, 22:38
0mni wrote:
Got it! Thanks again for your help!

My study plan that I have decided on is as follows:

Read each chapter of MGMAT guides (books 0-10).
Work through problems at the end of each chapter in MGMAT guides. (right after reading them)
Work through sets of 3-5 problems correlated with each MGMAT chapter from OG.
Review the timing it took for all questions, and review my answers (both from text and GC explanations)
Make flashcards for the questions I got wrong, then put all questions I did into an excel spreadsheet to ensure that I don't work the same problem twice.

Over time, my sets of problems from OG will increase to close to 20 (from current and previous chapters), saving entire exams for the practice tests. I plan on diversifying the questions based on category and question type, with 50% random and 50% based on my needs. Any tweaks or recommendations to my study plan are welcome.

I'm sure this topic will be covered later on in my readings, but based on this study plan, when should I take another full practice CAT exam?


Sounds good :thumbup: . I suggest take the free GMATPREP CAT1 after you finish the OG. GMATPREP CATs are the actual indicator of your readiness and performance.
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New post 09 Feb 2018, 21:16
For the GMAT OG guides, is it recommended to purchase the bundle (OG review + OG quant review + OG verbal review), or start off with the OG review and purchase the others later on if necessary?

Thanks!
Re: Starting my GMAT Studying, need advice on study methods and scheduling   [#permalink] 09 Feb 2018, 21:16
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