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Strategy Review?

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Strategy Review?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 06:47
Hi All,

I'm planning to take the GMAT in about a month, maybe 5 weeks. I've been studying a fair amount for about 2 weeks now and had studied a bit before, mostly verbal. I took the GMAT in the fall, under the assumption that I only needed around a 600 for the program I'm interested in. I studied up on verbal but mistakenly didn't study for quant. I'm a high school math teacher and figured I would get at least low to mid-40s, because that's what I got on a gmatprep CAT (42Q). I ended up with a 600, Q37 V35 and got dinged for my quant score.

I'm taking my studying more seriously this go around and have already gone through all the MGMAT study guides and am just working through the practice sets now. Can someone critique my plan?

I have access to 5 GMATprep practice exams. One free left and will buy the other 4 offered and the extra question bank. (Can someone please confirm the extra question bank problems will not show up on the practice CATs? I don't want to practice those if that's going to inflate my scores.)

I study at 5am every morning for about 1.5 hours and then another hour or 2, at night. I'm usually a bit tired at night so sometimes I have trouble concentrating (being a teacher is draining).

Sundays - Day off to unwind and ski. I might do some practice problems, but need to get out to the mountains or I get antsy.
Monday - Error Analysis (any tips on strategies are welcome, although I can also just search the forum!)
Tuesday - Error Analysis and Practice questions. I'd read someone suggesting doing 37 quant per day in 75 minutes, so I was considering this strategy. I could do this, but would less with error analysis be more effective? Considering I'm more productive in the morning, I'm thinking error analysis would be better then.
Wednesday - MGMAT full CAT in the morning, with error analysis in the evening.
Thursday - Error analysis
Friday - Error analysis
Saturday - GMATprep practice CAT

**I have taken one GMATprep practice CAT, which I took last week. I had just finished going through the MGMAT study guides and only took the quant section. I got a 46Q, but the score was inflated. I took it, then thought I could exit and just get my quant score, but it deleted my results. So I immediately did it again. I had just done about 1/3 of the questions, so those went very quickly for me.

I can up the amount of time I study, but the most I can do is about 4 hours on some days, 2-3 everyday.

My goal is at LEAST a 45 on quant and a 40 on verbal. For scholarship purposes, I only need a 670 to max out my scholarship opportunity (a 720 would give me too much as most of my tuition will be covered already).


Thanks for any input!!
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Re: Strategy Review?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 12:28
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Hi nat724,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so you should consider that as you plan out your studies. Since you'll have to make improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections, you will likely end up needing closer to 2 months of study time to hit your score goal (as opposed to the 1 month that you're currently considering).

As far as your broader study schedule is concerned, it's perfectly fine to take one day "off" per week, but you should NOT be taking more than 1 CAT per week. A CAT is really a 'measuring device' - when used correctly, it will give you a realistic score and help define your strengths and weaknesses, but it will NOT help you to fix any of those weaknesses. To raise your scores, you have to put in the necessary practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. It's also important to note that the Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations; the fact that you're a math teacher might actually be hampering your performance in that section. This is all meant to say that you would likely benefit a great deal by focusing on Quant Tactics and patterns instead of just relying on your math skills for that section.

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

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Re: Strategy Review?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 19:18
Hi Rich,

Thanks for the input!

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
I'm planning to apply around mid- to end of March this year. I am hoping to start in their summer cohort. It's a part-time program which I can do while teaching.

2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
I'm applying to UC Denver and probably University of Denver. I went to NYU undergrad and studied finance and accounting, but am not applying to any top schools, so I don't need a top score. But I want to do well on it for a scholarship opportunity. With a 670 I get a $3k scholarship and a $5k scholarship for a 720; however, I can't use all of the $5k because I have the GI Bill, so 70% of my tuition will be covered already.

To clarify on the timing, I have been studying for about 2-3 weeks already. So, when I take the exam in March, I'll have put in about two months. I've gone through all the guides that I think I need (MGMAT quant guides), but need to work on applying the concepts to the trickier problems. You're 100% right about the effect of being a math teacher. I've had to really re-think my strategies, as my go-to is always to solve algebraically. It's been a bit of a challenge to get out of that mindset and use number testing strategies and estimation, but I'm getting the hang of it. Fortunately, I'm pretty good at mental math from teaching.

I'm noticing many of my mistakes are falling into GMAT traps or missing a word.
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Re: Strategy Review?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 21:56
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Hi nat724,

Given the relatively limited timeframe that you have to study, the further back you can push your Test Date, the better (even a week or two of extra study time could have a significant impact on how well you can improve). In addition, since your score goal is a 670, you really don't have to worry about the 'trickier' questions - instead, you have to nail the 'gettable' questions. To that end, as someone with a 'math mind', you have to acknowledge that the only time you'll likely make any silly/little mistakes is when you do work 'in your head', so you simply CANNOT allow the possibility of those types of little mistakes to occur. You should do ALL of the necessary work on the pad - every time. Do not let your pride get in the way of achieving your goal score.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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www.empowergmat.com/

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Re: Strategy Review?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2017, 16:51
Hi Rich,

Thanks for the advice earlier. I've been working through my weakest sections and taking your advice on writing everything down. One of my most common mistakes is missing a small piece of information, so I've been noting any subtle rules as I jot down notes before I begin to work on a problem.

I took a full GMATPrep CAT on Saturday with AWA and IR to see how I would do. This was the first "full" practice CAT I've taken, as I usually skip the AWA and IR sections. I wasn't feeling too great as I was taking it and lost a bit of confidence when I got hit with a few hard problems in the middle, but I ended up with a 8IR / 47Q / 37V. The extra attention to the information I often miss and writing out all my work helped a lot though and I made fewer silly mistakes.

I would be very happy if my quant score stayed around there. My plan now is to shift focus to the verbal section and finish the MGMAT SC and CR books this week. Admittedly, it's a struggle for me to get through those books...

I still have about a month until I plan to take the exam. From this point, my plan for quant is to continue doing one practice CAT per week. I had originally planned on two, but you were absolutely right about the number per week. I can't do the post-analysis justice given my time limitations. During the week, I plan to review my quant notes and work through the additional question bank I bought from GMATPrep. I'm thinking I'll do 5 PS and 5 DS, mixed, per day, so I don't get rusty. Does that sound like a good plan to maintain my quant score (assuming it's accurate and not a fluke, which I'll find out next Saturday)? Do you see any benefit to doing the MGMAT CATs, considering the consensus that they're harder, rather than only GMATPrep? I already bought the other 4.

Last question...As you mentioned even an extra week in the end could make a big difference. Would you recommend that I wait to sign up for the exam until a week before I feel I'm ready?

Thanks again for your detailed responses and advice, it's been very helpful!
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Re: Strategy Review?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2017, 22:56
nat724 wrote:
Hi All,

I'm planning to take the GMAT in about a month, maybe 5 weeks. I've been studying a fair amount for about 2 weeks now and had studied a bit before, mostly verbal. I took the GMAT in the fall, under the assumption that I only needed around a 600 for the program I'm interested in. I studied up on verbal but mistakenly didn't study for quant. I'm a high school math teacher and figured I would get at least low to mid-40s, because that's what I got on a gmatprep CAT (42Q). I ended up with a 600, Q37 V35 and got dinged for my quant score.

I'm taking my studying more seriously this go around and have already gone through all the MGMAT study guides and am just working through the practice sets now. Can someone critique my plan?

I have access to 5 GMATprep practice exams. One free left and will buy the other 4 offered and the extra question bank. (Can someone please confirm the extra question bank problems will not show up on the practice CATs? I don't want to practice those if that's going to inflate my scores.)

I study at 5am every morning for about 1.5 hours and then another hour or 2, at night. I'm usually a bit tired at night so sometimes I have trouble concentrating (being a teacher is draining).

Sundays - Day off to unwind and ski. I might do some practice problems, but need to get out to the mountains or I get antsy.
Monday - Error Analysis (any tips on strategies are welcome, although I can also just search the forum!)
Tuesday - Error Analysis and Practice questions. I'd read someone suggesting doing 37 quant per day in 75 minutes, so I was considering this strategy. I could do this, but would less with error analysis be more effective? Considering I'm more productive in the morning, I'm thinking error analysis would be better then.
Wednesday - MGMAT full CAT in the morning, with error analysis in the evening.
Thursday - Error analysis
Friday - Error analysis
Saturday - GMATprep practice CAT

**I have taken one GMATprep practice CAT, which I took last week. I had just finished going through the MGMAT study guides and only took the quant section. I got a 46Q, but the score was inflated. I took it, then thought I could exit and just get my quant score, but it deleted my results. So I immediately did it again. I had just done about 1/3 of the questions, so those went very quickly for me.

I can up the amount of time I study, but the most I can do is about 4 hours on some days, 2-3 everyday.

My goal is at LEAST a 45 on quant and a 40 on verbal. For scholarship purposes, I only need a 670 to max out my scholarship opportunity (a 720 would give me too much as most of my tuition will be covered already).


Thanks for any input!!


I would recommend booking the test now... very easy to kick that down the road "until you feel ready". I'd book it now for a few months down the road.
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Re: Strategy Review?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2017, 05:56
nat724 wrote:
I have access to 5 GMATprep practice exams. One free left and will buy the other 4 offered and the extra question bank. (Can someone please confirm the extra question bank problems will not show up on the practice CATs? I don't want to practice those if that's going to inflate my scores.)
There is no overlap between the Question Pack 1 and the Exam Packs.
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New post 20 Feb 2017, 07:12
okay wrote:
nat724 wrote:
Hi All,

I'm planning to take the GMAT in about a month, maybe 5 weeks. I've been studying a fair amount for about 2 weeks now and had studied a bit before, mostly verbal. I took the GMAT in the fall, under the assumption that I only needed around a 600 for the program I'm interested in. I studied up on verbal but mistakenly didn't study for quant. I'm a high school math teacher and figured I would get at least low to mid-40s, because that's what I got on a gmatprep CAT (42Q). I ended up with a 600, Q37 V35 and got dinged for my quant score.

I'm taking my studying more seriously this go around and have already gone through all the MGMAT study guides and am just working through the practice sets now. Can someone critique my plan?

I have access to 5 GMATprep practice exams. One free left and will buy the other 4 offered and the extra question bank. (Can someone please confirm the extra question bank problems will not show up on the practice CATs? I don't want to practice those if that's going to inflate my scores.)

I study at 5am every morning for about 1.5 hours and then another hour or 2, at night. I'm usually a bit tired at night so sometimes I have trouble concentrating (being a teacher is draining).

Sundays - Day off to unwind and ski. I might do some practice problems, but need to get out to the mountains or I get antsy.
Monday - Error Analysis (any tips on strategies are welcome, although I can also just search the forum!)
Tuesday - Error Analysis and Practice questions. I'd read someone suggesting doing 37 quant per day in 75 minutes, so I was considering this strategy. I could do this, but would less with error analysis be more effective? Considering I'm more productive in the morning, I'm thinking error analysis would be better then.
Wednesday - MGMAT full CAT in the morning, with error analysis in the evening.
Thursday - Error analysis
Friday - Error analysis
Saturday - GMATprep practice CAT

**I have taken one GMATprep practice CAT, which I took last week. I had just finished going through the MGMAT study guides and only took the quant section. I got a 46Q, but the score was inflated. I took it, then thought I could exit and just get my quant score, but it deleted my results. So I immediately did it again. I had just done about 1/3 of the questions, so those went very quickly for me.

I can up the amount of time I study, but the most I can do is about 4 hours on some days, 2-3 everyday.

My goal is at LEAST a 45 on quant and a 40 on verbal. For scholarship purposes, I only need a 670 to max out my scholarship opportunity (a 720 would give me too much as most of my tuition will be covered already).


Thanks for any input!!


I would recommend booking the test now... very easy to kick that down the road "until you feel ready". I'd book it now for a few months down the road.


I'm definitely going to take it in March, just a matter of when. I can't wait because I have some time constraints. And I'm thinking I should take it right before spring break, as I'm going to be skiing a lot. Don't want to delude myself into thinking I'm going to study!
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Re: Strategy Review?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2017, 11:53
Hi nat724,

Your general plan sounds fine for now - and we'll be better able to assess it based on your next CAT score. It's important to keep in mind that the GMAT is really good at giving you the score that you EARN. If you want to earn a higher score on your next CAT, then you have to continue to hone your skills, eliminate the little mistakes from your work and put together a strong 4-hour performance when you take that next practice Test.

As far as scheduling your Exam is concerned, there are benefits to choosing the "perfect" combination of day and time for YOU. The further in advance you can schedule the GMAT, the more likely you will be to lock in your perfect Test day/time. This is all meant to say that you might want to look at the appointments that are available right now - and not assume that they'll be there in a few weeks.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

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Re: Strategy Review?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2017, 12:25
Well, that was a bit frustrating. I started exam pack 1 and got the error that others have. After doing the AWA and IR, I was feeling pretty good. I did the first quant question and got an error. I clicked around pointlessly for a couple minutes then closed it out.

After finding out that I had to reinstall it, I started again and my time was down to 71. The first problem took me only 30 seconds, so I lost 3.5 minutes to start and was a bit irritated and flustered. I spent way too much time on a few problems and ended up blindly guessing on the last 5 and rushing the 5 before that. Ended up with a 42 in the quant section. Looking back, I would have gotten the last 5 correct (I did them timed with 2 minutes each afterwards).

Oh well, looking at the bright side, at least I know that in my absolute worst scenario I still got a 42, which is the absolute bottom I want to get on the exam in a few weeks. Back to reviewing my errors!
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New post 20 Mar 2017, 16:58
I just finished the GMAT and scored a 690 (IR 5, 43Q, 41V). I was pretty disappointed in my quant and IR scores, as I had been scoring 47-48 and 7-8, respectively on the last 4 GMATprep tests. But, to be honest, I was a bit burnt out the last two weeks, which I think contributed to my lower score. I should have probably taken it earlier, but my verbal improved.

I'm only applying to local schools, as I don't want to move for two years and want to do a part-time program. I'm applying to CU Denver's Business Analytics program. Anyone have any thoughts on if a 43Q would ding someone for state school emphasizing analytics? And the 5 on IR?
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New post 20 Mar 2017, 23:21
nat724 wrote:
I just finished the GMAT and scored a 690 (IR 5, 43Q, 41V). I was pretty disappointed in my quant and IR scores, as I had been scoring 47-48 and 7-8, respectively on the last 4 GMATprep tests. But, to be honest, I was a bit burnt out the last two weeks, which I think contributed to my lower score. I should have probably taken it earlier, but my verbal improved.

I'm only applying to local schools, as I don't want to move for two years and want to do a part-time program. I'm applying to CU Denver's Business Analytics program. Anyone have any thoughts on if a 43Q would ding someone for state school emphasizing analytics? And the 5 on IR?
That's an excellent verbal score. I'd probably take the GMAT again if I were you (though even the total is very good).

As for your target schools, you should get in touch with them directly, and you could also ask the people here for an opinion.
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Re: Strategy Review? &nbs [#permalink] 20 Mar 2017, 23:21
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