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Study plan recommendation

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Study plan recommendation  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 01:08
I am preparing for taking the exam in December

I took the exam 2 years ago and I got 460
IR 5, Q38 and V16
I got so sick at the end of the exam that I started to choose random answers to leave the exam room

Now I have almost 3 months, I have MGMAT 6th edition, FoM, FoV, OG2016 and I am buying OG2019

Also I am studying with a friend who didn't take the exam before

Any advice which study plan we would follow for the 3 months

Taking into consideration that I can't remember anything so it is like new to me

There are lots of plans and it is little overwhelming.

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Re: Study plan recommendation  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 14:33
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GMAT717 wrote:
I am preparing for taking the exam in December

I took the exam 2 years ago and I got 460
IR 5, Q38 and V16
I got so sick at the end of the exam that I started to choose random answers to leave the exam room

Now I have almost 3 months, I have MGMAT 6th edition, FoM, FoV, OG2016 and I am buying OG2019

Also I am studying with a friend who didn't take the exam before

Any advice which study plan we would follow for the 3 months

Taking into consideration that I can't remember anything so it is like new to me

There are lots of plans and it is little overwhelming.

Posted from my mobile device



Hi GMAT717


Forget what happened 2 years ago.

That's not important now.

You are starting fresh. :thumbup:


Both, you and your friend should start from scratch, and should use only beginners plan.

Manhattan guides and official guides are great way to go.

Manhattan should be used for covering foundations and theory along with practice questions, and official guides will be used for testing via their practice questions.

I agree there are a lot of, usually rigid GMAT plans there and that's why I am always for more adaptive personalized ones.


First important thing to learn is that, whatever you decide, no plan should be static.

You will modify it through time to suit your needs.


Start by opening a GMAT journal or GMAT error log.


Get a psychical notebook, or open up a Word file on your computer, whatever you prefer.

You will write there your observations toward GMAT topics, like weakness vs. strengths and what practice question gave you headache and which ones you need to review more often.


Set Your GMAT Goal


First, you need to know your current/starting GMAT score so you should take the mock test.

For taking mock tests in general I can recommend Official GMAC ones, Manhattan and GMAT Club tests.


You should take a practice mock test in conditions that simulate the actual exam as much as possible.

You should do the AWA and IR sections also, meaning full test.

The mental effort it takes to do these sometimes skipped sections will affect your performance on Quant and Verbal, so you should not skip them, just because they are (maybe) less important.

Take the exactly same breaks as they will be on real test.

Don’t answer the phone, don’t eat or drink except during the breaks, and so on....basically make it as close to the real test as you can.


Don't worry if your starting score is somewhat low, that's fine, you just started, that's expected.


Second score that you need to determine is average GMAT score of schools where you want to apply.

That's your target score or ballpark number.

These two numbers will give you an idea of how much improvement you will need and may affect your prep plans, including the length of time you plan to spend.


Diagnose Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Once you have your first GMAT mock score, use your test results to figure out your strengths and weaknesses in terms of both equally important content and timing.

Take notes on paper, then summarize your analysis in your journal.

The data will simply tell you what happened.

On the other hand, your careful analysis should tell you why that happened and how you plan to attack those topics/questions in the future.


Plan Your Schedule

In general most people initially underestimate the amount of time they’ll need to study, that's common, you still don't know what it takes to achieve your GMAT goal and you cannot correctly estimate how much time and effort you need to invest to get there.

But you already determined that you have 3 months so we will work with that.


Primary Study Period.

You’ll set a rough amount of time that you’re likely going to need for primary studying, that is the time you take to master the material, not including a comprehensive final review.

This rough time frame is likely to change as you see how fast or slow you make progress.

In your time period allowed this should be 2 months.

In that time you should go over all Manhattan guides, both verbal and quant, except for advanced quant book.

This means to divide for instance number of pages with days allowed in those 2 months in order to get sense how much you should cover per day.

Of course on some days you will cover more and on some you will cover less but try to stay on track.

You should cover both math and verbal part, per day.


Review Period.


You will also need to set aside time for review after you finish your primary study and before you take the test.

In your time frame allowed this should be something like 2-3 weeks.

Along with this theory review, if you already didn't during your primary study period, you should now go over all official questions in official guides.

Last week or two before scheduled test should be used for mocks building stamina and score estimation, also careful detailed review of mocks.

Ideally, you should keep doing this until your practice test scores are in your desired range of average GMAT scores of your targeted schools.


Analyzing Problems :idea:

When doing GMAT-format problems, be aware that roughly 80% of your learning comes after you have finished doing the problem.

Your goal here is not to do a million questions—your goal is to do a much more modest number of questions and really analyze them to a dot if you can.

When you study practice problems, your overall goal should be to master the problem you are working on right now.

That means that, when you see in future different problem that tests the same thing as this current problem, you will recognize that the future problem has certain things in common with this current problem, and you will know what steps to take as a result.

If you can recognize what to do, then you will be faster and you will be more effective, because you'll know that the method you're using actually worked the last time you saw a similar problem.


Caveat

If you can it would be wise to include a couple of extra weeks of study time as an additional buffer, just in case.

Fact is that people who are employed might get extra busy, people also get sick, we all procrastinate sometimes… and in general many things may happen unexpectedly. :shocked

It is just the way life is. ;)


Happy prep ! :cool:
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Re: Study plan recommendation  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2018, 00:39
Thanks a lot for your response
It's really helpful

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Re: Study plan recommendation  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2018, 17:30
This is a great plan.
Quick question- I'm assuming you suggest doing problems from the OG when you cover the various Manhattan prep topics/books correct?
2-3 weeks doesn't seem enough to do all the OG problems and review properly and go through error log.
I guess my question is what is the suggestion on incorporating practice problems during the first 2 months.

Thanks in advance for your help

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Re: Study plan recommendation  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2018, 18:07
Sopata wrote:
This is a great plan.
Quick question- I'm assuming you suggest doing problems from the OG when you cover the various Manhattan prep topics/books correct?
2-3 weeks doesn't seem enough to do all the OG problems and review properly and go through error log.
I guess my question is what is the suggestion on incorporating practice problems during the first 2 months.

Thanks in advance for your help

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Hello Sopata


This is great plan, indeed. :-)

I strive for excellence. ;)


Yes, you should start checking yourself with OG questions after you cover all theory from Manhattan.

Of course you can start earlier to incorporate some of those questions, for instance when you cover algebra you can check some questions from OG and quiz yourself.

I recommend doing them after you retest yourself with Manhattan questions, because they are most accurate ones that exist, and will provide you with clear picture where you stand.

Another reason, why I would rather recommend doing them after you finish all theory vs. topic after topic approach, is to check your overall retention of foundations and theory.

That being said, it doesn't hurt doing them (official ones) multiple times.

2-3 weeks was only advised and tailored in above special circumstances, this is not my overall suggestion, the more time you have the better for you.

I think I already answered your last question, but once again, most important reason for saving official questions for testing, after going through all verbal and quant foundations, will be to give you clear and realistic picture where you stand at the moment and where you should invest more time and effort, if necessary.


Doing official questions more than once, never hurts, especially if review/testing it is spaced enough, so you don't actually remember/memorize the answers, so you can test the waters during first 2 months if you like.


Happy prep ! :cool:
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Re: Study plan recommendation  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 18:39
I can second what people recommended about Manhattan. Their guides are pretty great. Even if you find that you are comfortable with a topic there are little tricks, tools, and frameworks in the guides for approaching problems. Along with grasping the concepts, knowing which tools to apply to the problem is a very important factor.

I have not yet gotten to the advanced quant book but from my brief reading of it and its reviews, it seems to be focused wholly on general strategies and approach to problems.
Re: Study plan recommendation &nbs [#permalink] 08 Sep 2018, 18:39
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