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What is a good study plan for studying for your second GMAT?

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New post 07 Apr 2020, 10:00
This is a bit of a loaded question, so let me give some details on what I have tried, what I got on my first GMAT, and my current concerns.

1) I started doing problems in sets of 10, starting from Easy, then to Medium, and then to Hard. I would only move up in difficulty after i got a decent amount right, lets say at least 8 or 9/10. It helped a lot, as I was stuck in the 610 score area, but got a 680 on my first GMAT.

2) My first GMAT.
I was happy with the score, but I knew the potential was much greater.
My practice exam 4 days before the GMAT was 680 : Q 48 V 34
My first official GMAT was also a 680 : Q 42 V 41. I was upset that I dropped so much in math, but happy I went up so much in verbal. Overall 680 is a good score but I am aiming for 750+.

3) What I have been doing since my first GMAT.
Mainly stuff that I had been doing before. Problem in sets of 10, focusing on some weaknesses in math such as picking numbers and geometry. However, I see I am getting some very easy problems right, because I either just want to rush through and get my problems done already, or am missing key details.
I am also worried now because I don't have a second exam date since COVID closed my test center, and the online GMAT is in development still.

So basically, how do I continue improving my GMAT skills and increase my score, without 1)Just "going through the motions" and burning out and 2)Not work too hard without an end exam date in sight (YET).
I was thinking maybe to slow things down and maybe just do 3 sets of 5 problems or so. Not trying to focus on quantity, but doing an amount of problems that keeps me engaged I guess?

Feel free to ask more questions if it helps !
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Re: What is a good study plan for studying for your second GMAT?  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2020, 14:10
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Hi divas987,

To start, since the various Testing Facilities have been closed (due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19), it's unclear when those Facilities will reopen. In response, GMAC has put together a tentative plan to administer the GMAT directly on Test-takers' home computers. You can read more about that opportunity here:

https://www.gmac.com/why-gmac/gmac-news ... oronavirus

Your performance in the Quant section of the Official GMAT was in line with the scores that you listed from your practice CATs/mocks (back in January and February) and the increase in your Verbal Scaled Score is interesting (especially if that's the only time you scored that high in that section). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your studies from late February up until now:

1) After the practice CAT on February 20th (590/Q43/V28), on what dates did you take EACH of your more recent CATs and how did you score on EACH?
2) Which "brands" of practice CATs/mocks have you used so far?
3) Over your last several posts, you've increased your Goal Score from 700+ to 720+ and now to 750+. Is there a particular reason for these changes? Have you been consulting with an Admissions Expert or a representative from one of the Schools that you're interested in?

You might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 08 Apr 2020, 03:36
Consider checking out your ESR and seeing what you glean and work on from that.
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New post 09 Apr 2020, 17:18
Hi divas987,

The good news is that 680 (Q48/V34) is a very nice start! Regarding your GMAT, I think that the at-home exams will begin starting around May, so you may be able to take your GMAT sooner rather than later.

Regarding HOW to improve your GMAT score, you need to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will 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. For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then 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. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. 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.

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, types that you would rather not see, and types 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.

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 you had to know 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.

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 the following articles about
How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT and The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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What is a good study plan for studying for your second GMAT?   [#permalink] 09 Apr 2020, 17:18

What is a good study plan for studying for your second GMAT?

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