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Thoughts on my study plan for 700+ score by round 1 deadlines

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Joined: 25 Jul 2018
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Thoughts on my study plan for 700+ score by round 1 deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 10:12
Hey all,

I'm registered to take the GMAT on 8/24. This will allow for 5 weeks of studying prior to test day. Previously, I studied for about a month in the May/June timeframe but then stopped for about 2 months until I picked it back up a week ago. I work full-time and am planning on putting in about 3-4 hours a night on weeknights and 12 hours a day on weekends. I took 2 CATS back in May/June and scored a 540 cold and a 580 after a few weeks of study.

I know a 700 after a month of studying is probably not going to happen, so I'm planning to retake it in late September, allowing me to obtain my score in time for round 1 application deadlines.

I'm also taking a full 2 weeks off of work, leading up to the September retake. Basically going all in for the September test. During this time, I'd like to get 12 hours a day of studying in.

If I can't achieve the 700+ in time for round 1, then I will try again for round 2, allowing for even more time to study.

I use EmpowerGMAT.

Any thoughts on my approach?

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Joined: 24 Jul 2018
Posts: 1
Re: Thoughts on my study plan for 700+ score by round 1 deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 10:22
Great aspirations!
I'm new to the GMAT, but coming from the Actuarial field, I'm no stranger to exams. GMAT's no different.

Important thing is to remember that the material is bounded; there is a finite amount of different questions. You will see similar q's popping up. Thus, it is very important to keep an error log!

Also, you will need a day where you don't study hard. Pick a day where you do light study, otherwise I think you might wear yourself out to a degree that is not beneficial for learning/putting your best foot forward.

Good luck, and keep us posted!
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Re: Thoughts on my study plan for 700+ score by round 1 deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 14:03
Hi hockey408,

Since it's been over a month since you took a practice CAT, it would be a good idea to take one soon (perhaps this weekend). GMAT skills can 'fade' over time, so we need to know how well you remember the content and Tactics from your prior studies. Once you have that score, you should report back and we can discuss how best to proceed. If you'd rather chat privately via PM or email, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

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Re: Thoughts on my study plan for 700+ score by round 1 deadlines  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 10:53
Hi hockey408,

I’m glad you reached out and I’m happy to help. Although 580 is a decent starting point, as I’m sure you are aware, you will need to put in a lot of effort and time to improve to a 700+ GMAT score. The next two months will fly by, and despite your best efforts, you may need more than just two months to achieve your desired GMAT score. However, there is no harm in pushing yourself through September. Depending on how you score on that GMAT, you can then determine if a retake is necessary.

So, to increase your GMAT score to a higher level, you have to go through quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process would be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to at least around 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. As you practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why you got it wrong. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: strengthen and weaken the argument, resolve the paradox, find the conclusion, must be true, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what, if anything, you would have needed to know in order to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

You also may find it helpful to read my article for more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO

GMAT Quant Self-Study Course
500+ lessons 3000+ practice problems 800+ HD solutions

Re: Thoughts on my study plan for 700+ score by round 1 deadlines &nbs [#permalink] 30 Jul 2018, 10:53
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