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Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test

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Intern
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Joined: 02 Oct 2018
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Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2018, 09:23
Hi all,

I'm new to the website since yesterday as I heard about gmatclub via YouTube.

A little background... I have recently decided that I want to pursue an MBA. It has always been in the back of my head since I've finished my under graduate degree but after 7 years of working I have finally taken the leap to go for it. For the last 6 years I live in the UK and am originally from the Netherlands. I have left my job so that for the following 3 months I can fully focus on the GMAT preparation and applications (2 months - 40hrs p/w GMAT prep, 1 month 20hrs p/w application & essays).

Now today I have completed the Diagnostic Test of the GMAT Official Guide 2019 and am slightly disappointed with the outcome but not discouraged!
My 'scores' were:
Quant
PS: Below Average
DS: Below Average
Verbal
RC: Above Average
CR: Average
SC: Below Average

I have always known that Quant would be my main weakness as I have never had an affinity with maths and was prepared for this (it's also been 15 years since I've seen a maths book). A little disappointing were the Verbal scores but it's something that I'll work on.

As a next step I would like to make my Study Plan however have no real idea on how to do this in a detailed manner that represents my current capabilities and where my ideal score lays (~700). Would any of you be able to help me make a good Study Plan based on my timescales and Diagnostic Test results? The material that I have to study are the GMAT Official Guide 2019, Verbal & Quant Review, as well as the GMAT Manhatten Prep Set & Foundations of Math.

I hope to have given all the information needed, but if not please do ask.

Thanks a lot in advance!
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2018, 17:37
Hi sknl87,

To start, there's a big difference between taking a pencil-and-paper exam out of a book (in which all of the questions are grouped by type) and taking a adaptive CAT under realistic testing conditions. To properly assess your current skills, then it would be a good idea to take a FULL-LENGTH practice CAT Test; you can take 2 for free at www.mba.com (and they come with some additional practice materials). If you want to do a little studying first, so that you can familiarize yourself with the basic content and question types, then that's okay - but you shouldn't wait too long to take that initial CAT. That score will give us a more defined sense of your natural strengths and weaknesses and will help provide a basis for comparison as you continue to study. A FULL CAT takes about 3.5 hours to complete, so make sure that you've set aside enough time to take it in one sitting. Once you have those scores, you should report back here and we can come up with a study plan.

Beyond that, many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores; from what you describe, you might be planning to study for just 2 months - and that would likely limit how high you would score. This is meant to say that if your Score Goal is 700+, then you will likely need a longer study period than you have planned for.

I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline and goals:
1) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 00:21
Hi Rich,

Thank you very much for your response, I appreciate your comments and feedback.

As I am completely new to the GMAT concept and therefore thought the best way to approach it was to follow the OG 19 which instructed taking the Diagnostic Test. However I can understand it's short comings based on your comments.

With regards to the study time for the GMAT I have allowed 2 months, however these 2 months consist of full-time weeks (40 hrs p/w - and more if necessary). If I am one thing above all it is being determined to succeed.

Answering your questions:
1) 30 November 2018 (booked)
2) January 2019
3) Cass, Judge, LBS, Harvard, Stanford

My intention currently is to now first start studying the Manhattan Prep Foundations of Math before taking the CAT at mba.com so I am more familiar with the basic concepts of maths.
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 14:52
Hi sknl87,

Until we have that initial CAT result, we won't have an idea of how long you might need to study for the GMAT. Your plan has some potential issues though. First, statistically-speaking, two months will probably NOT be enough for you to get to the point that you are consistently scoring in the 700+ range. Second, studying 40+ hours a week for 2 straight months will greatly increase your chances of "burnout" before Test Day (and that is something that we want to avoid). You have to be careful about confusing "quality" of study with "quantity" of study.

You've named some highly-competitive Schools, so a high GMAT Score will be a must. You don't have to change your plans just yet, but you should keep careful track of your progress and how you're feeling during the next few weeks. There's no point to 'rushing in' to take the GMAT if you're performing at a level during practice that's not relatively close to your Score Goal.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2018, 00:15
Hi Rich,

I appreciate your feedback and will keep it in mind.

The plan for next week is to review Foundations of Math and take the practice test of mba.com at the end of the week. Once I have completed the test I will post my results in this topic.

After next week I will still have 7 weeks to study in which the overall plan is to cover to 2 MPrep strategy guides (and accompanying problem sets) per week. At the end of week 5 I will take the 2nd practice test of mba.com and out of that will make a plan for the remaining 2 weeks for reviewing topics that require it.

With regards to the work/study load I will keep an eye on how I am feeling. However it does not concern me overly much due to my job experience in the last 6 years (working as a senior executive) where I am used to working in constant high pace and high volume environments. Also, my days are scheduled in blocks of two hours with 15min breaks and a 1hr lunch during the afternoon, and for the time being I have left the evenings and weekends free of studying.

What are your thoughts on the above?

Many thanks.

Sjors
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2018, 05:22
Hi sknl87,

Glad you found GMAT Club!

So, I agree that your first step should be to take a full-length practice test from MBA.com. The results of that test will show you how far you are from your score goal and help determine how much prep and what materials may be necessary to achieve your goal.

Once you complete the practice exam, please report back here, and I can provide some specific advice regarding your study plan and timeline.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2018, 14:13
Hi Sjors,

Unfortunately, we simply don't have enough data at this point to analyze whether your plan is a 'good' plan or not. Historically-speaking though, what you're describing rarely leads to great results. That having been said, no one here knows you well enough to know what you're capable of (as far as a GMAT Score is concerned) - and there's no real harm in what you're attempting (you just might end up having to apply at a later date if you can't hit your Goal Score in the timeframe that you've defined).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2018, 03:32
sknl87 wrote:
Hi all,

I'm new to the website since yesterday as I heard about gmatclub via YouTube.

A little background... I have recently decided that I want to pursue an MBA. It has always been in the back of my head since I've finished my under graduate degree but after 7 years of working I have finally taken the leap to go for it. For the last 6 years I live in the UK and am originally from the Netherlands. I have left my job so that for the following 3 months I can fully focus on the GMAT preparation and applications (2 months - 40hrs p/w GMAT prep, 1 month 20hrs p/w application & essays).

Now today I have completed the Diagnostic Test of the GMAT Official Guide 2019 and am slightly disappointed with the outcome but not discouraged!
My 'scores' were:
Quant
PS: Below Average
DS: Below Average
Verbal
RC: Above Average
CR: Average
SC: Below Average

I have always known that Quant would be my main weakness as I have never had an affinity with maths and was prepared for this (it's also been 15 years since I've seen a maths book). A little disappointing were the Verbal scores but it's something that I'll work on.

As a next step I would like to make my Study Plan however have no real idea on how to do this in a detailed manner that represents my current capabilities and where my ideal score lays (~700). Would any of you be able to help me make a good Study Plan based on my timescales and Diagnostic Test results? The material that I have to study are the GMAT Official Guide 2019, Verbal & Quant Review, as well as the GMAT Manhatten Prep Set & Foundations of Math.

I hope to have given all the information needed, but if not please do ask.

Thanks a lot in advance!


You should better focus on a study plan with sound strategy. Here is a study plan for you

Best Books

For learning Concepts

Manhattan Quant Guides
Manhattan Verbal Guides
For CR: The Powerscore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
For RC: Aristotle RC Grail

For Practice

The Official Guide for GMAT 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2015-18

Best Courses

1. Empower GMAT
2. Math Revolution (Only Math)
3. E-GMAT (Only Verbal)

You can start with Quant or Verbal which suits you. If you have started with Quant then Start with the Arithmetic but if started with verbal then start first with Sentence correction. One month for learning Quant concepts and one month for practicing question and same practice for Verbal. During you Practicing question don't forget to make an error log to track your weak areas after practice. Once you know your weak areas revise your Concepts related to those areas and do some more Practice. 6-8 CATs are enough for practice the real tests. Make your Stamina for sitting 3 hours in the test and don't study more than 2 hours in one sit and 4 hours per day

Top CATs for Practice

1. Official GMAC CATs
2. Manhattan CATs
3. Kaplan CATs
4. GMAT Club Quant CATs

Good Luck
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2018, 04:23
sknl87 wrote:
Hi all,

I'm new to the website since yesterday as I heard about gmatclub via YouTube.

A little background... I have recently decided that I want to pursue an MBA. It has always been in the back of my head since I've finished my under graduate degree but after 7 years of working I have finally taken the leap to go for it. For the last 6 years I live in the UK and am originally from the Netherlands. I have left my job so that for the following 3 months I can fully focus on the GMAT preparation and applications (2 months - 40hrs p/w GMAT prep, 1 month 20hrs p/w application & essays).

Now today I have completed the Diagnostic Test of the GMAT Official Guide 2019 and am slightly disappointed with the outcome but not discouraged!
My 'scores' were:
Quant
PS: Below Average
DS: Below Average
Verbal
RC: Above Average
CR: Average
SC: Below Average

I have always known that Quant would be my main weakness as I have never had an affinity with maths and was prepared for this (it's also been 15 years since I've seen a maths book). A little disappointing were the Verbal scores but it's something that I'll work on.

As a next step I would like to make my Study Plan however have no real idea on how to do this in a detailed manner that represents my current capabilities and where my ideal score lays (~700). Would any of you be able to help me make a good Study Plan based on my timescales and Diagnostic Test results? The material that I have to study are the GMAT Official Guide 2019, Verbal & Quant Review, as well as the GMAT Manhatten Prep Set & Foundations of Math.

I hope to have given all the information needed, but if not please do ask.

Thanks a lot in advance!


Hi sknl87,

I would encourage to focus on clearing your concepts and solidifying your base before you move onto the OG Questions. It is vital that you solve the OG only after you have gone through the concepts. For Quant, You can try out the Math revolution or TTP course as both the courses are phenomenal and cover the entire syllabus really well. Plus both have great reviews on GMATCLUB. I must add that if you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in Quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them. Note that you it is advisable to do the GMATCLUB only once you have achieved Q45+ to make the most out of these tests.

Also for verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have a good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice.

Lastly, you can check out a very interesting article by Mike McGarry from Magoosh detailing a 3 month study plan

https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... -students/. You will find it very helpful as it gives out a study plan as per your needs.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2018, 11:32
Hi! This is a very general getting-started guide that I wrote for people in your situation. It lists out what you should do at the very beginning of your GMAT studies, and what your studies should look like as you move forwards. It won't necessarily address your exact situation, but I think it makes sense to start here:

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... ks-part-1/

If it makes sense for you financially, you could also sign up for a guided self study program like GMAT Interact. The specific thing about Interact is that you can also get one-on-one coaching sessions with it - you might not want a long-term private tutoring relationship, but if you just do a coaching session or two, you might walk away with a clearer study plan. Here are the details on that: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/prep/on-demand/
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Re: Support with Study Plan after Diagnostic Test &nbs [#permalink] 07 Oct 2018, 11:32
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