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# When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?

Author Message
Intern
Joined: 07 Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Location: India
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V45
GPA: 4
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2018, 09:25
Hello everyone!

It is at the ripe old age of 31 - and after having worked as an engineer for 9 years - that I have decided to act upon a longstanding desire to acquire an MBA degree. 5 days ago I did not know the expansion of 'GMAT', but having spent a few days poring through the GMAC website and this goldmine of a forum, I have acquired a fair bit of an idea about the mountain I must now climb.

An oft-repeated bit of counsel I have come across here is that one should attempt their first GMAT Prep CAT as soon as they have a broad understanding of the pattern of the test, in order to identify their strengths and weaknesses. However, the last time I wrote something that remotely resembled an examination was 6 years ago. Since then, there have been very few instances when I have had the need to concentrate continuously for an extended period of time.

My apprehension is that if I attempt a CAT within a day or two, I might be too slow simply because my mind is not used to writing a test, and as a result my score might not be indicative of my true strengths and weaknesses. I am, therefore, confused as to whether I should first try solving sample questions with a timer for a few days just to give my brain a whetstone of sorts, or whether I should leave aside such thoughts and dive headlong into a CAT at the first window of time I get.

I shall be grateful for any help in this regard.

Thanks!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
VP
Status: It's near - I can see.
Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 1342
Location: India
GMAT 1: 480 Q38 V22
GPA: 3.01
WE: Engineering (Consulting)
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2018, 09:40
1
Interrobong wrote:
Hello everyone!

It is at the ripe old age of 31 - and after having worked as an engineer for 9 years - that I have decided to act upon a longstanding desire to acquire an MBA degree. 5 days ago I did not know the expansion of 'GMAT', but having spent a few days poring through the GMAC website and this goldmine of a forum, I have acquired a fair bit of an idea about the mountain I must now climb.

An oft-repeated bit of counsel I have come across here is that one should attempt their first GMAT Prep CAT as soon as they have a broad understanding of the pattern of the test, in order to identify their strengths and weaknesses. However, the last time I wrote something that remotely resembled an examination was 6 years ago. Since then, there have been very few instances when I have had the need to concentrate continuously for an extended period of time.

My apprehension is that if I attempt a CAT within a day or two, I might be too slow simply because my mind is not used to writing a test, and as a result my score might not be indicative of my true strengths and weaknesses. I am, therefore, confused as to whether I should first try solving sample questions with a timer for a few days just to give my brain a whetstone of sorts, or whether I should leave aside such thoughts and dive headlong into a CAT at the first window of time I get.

I shall be grateful for any help in this regard.

Thanks!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

Hi,

You are right that you should not jump to GMAT prep diagnostic test directly. IMO you should review the syllabus of GMAT first, and mainly for Quant and Verbal. Review your basics a bit of both the topics. This shall include math formulas, grammar etc. And then give a diagnostic test when you are mentally ready. GMAT is really a painful journey, and you must be mentally prepared for lots of ups and downs till you achieve your dream score. GMAT club is a great community where you will get every resource to crack this exam. This is a marathon test. You must have a habit of staring at screen for a longer duration. So all these traits you will achieve slowly and steadily. Till then get into test mindset for few days.

QZ.
_________________

"Do not watch clock; Do what it does. KEEP GOING."

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Joined: 26 Feb 2016
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Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2018, 11:14
1
Hey Interrobong

First of all, Welcome to GMATClub!

I think it is important for you to understand the purpose of taking this first mock?
For me, it was to understand the topic which needed more work than the others!
If you think Quant needs a lot of improvement, there is no harm in working on the
concepts. But the idea is not to spend too much time during this initial phase!
Another important thing is to study from good material.

Hope this helps you!
_________________

You've got what it takes, but it will take everything you've got

Intern
Joined: 07 Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Location: India
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V45
GPA: 4
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

08 Apr 2018, 19:01
QZ wrote:
Interrobong wrote:
Hello everyone!

Hi,

You are right that you should not jump to GMAT prep diagnostic test directly. IMO you should review the syllabus of GMAT first, and mainly for Quant and Verbal. Review your basics a bit of both the topics. This shall include math formulas, grammar etc. And then give a diagnostic test when you are mentally ready. GMAT is really a painful journey, and you must be mentally prepared for lots of ups and downs till you achieve your dream score. GMAT club is a great community where you will get every resource to crack this exam. This is a marathon test. You must have a habit of staring at screen for a longer duration. So all these traits you will achieve slowly and steadily. Till then get into test mindset for few days.

QZ.

Thank you for the response, QZ.

Can you suggest a source for a good run-through of the basics of Quant and Verbal? I have the MGMAT Quant guides but from the little knowledge I have gathered, they may be overkill before attempting the first CAT.

Thanks!
Intern
Joined: 07 Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Location: India
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V45
GPA: 4
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

08 Apr 2018, 19:25
pushpitkc wrote:

First of all, Welcome to GMATClub!

I think it is important for you to understand the purpose of taking this first mock?
For me, it was to understand the topic which needed more work than the others!
If you think Quant needs a lot of improvement, there is no harm in working on the
concepts. But the idea is not to spend too much time during this initial phase!
Another important thing is to study from good material.

Hope this helps you!

Thank you for the response, Pushpitkc.

I do understand that the purpose of taking the first mock is to understand my strengths and weaknesses, which would in turn help me build a study plan. My apprehension is merely that I may be too rusty from my long years of non-academic life, and hence underperform in sections not because I'm weak in them but because of my lack of recent exposure to an examination environment. So if I write a CAT today, I might get a better score in Verbal simply because I read a lot and a lower score in Quant because I'm not used to doing quick math. This would put me under the impression that I need more work on Quant than Verbal, when in reality I might have poor fundamentals in Verbal and just a bit out of practice in Quant. Hence, I was wondering if I should work on fundamentals a bit and solve sample questions to get in the groove before attempting my first CAT.

Do you agree with this, or do you feel rustiness won't make much of a difference to my overall score and I should just take the mock?

Thanks!
Intern
Joined: 03 Aug 2016
Posts: 40
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2018, 21:19
1
Interrobong wrote:
QZ wrote:
Interrobong wrote:
Hello everyone!

Hi,

You are right that you should not jump to GMAT prep diagnostic test directly. IMO you should review the syllabus of GMAT first, and mainly for Quant and Verbal. Review your basics a bit of both the topics. This shall include math formulas, grammar etc. And then give a diagnostic test when you are mentally ready. GMAT is really a painful journey, and you must be mentally prepared for lots of ups and downs till you achieve your dream score. GMAT club is a great community where you will get every resource to crack this exam. This is a marathon test. You must have a habit of staring at screen for a longer duration. So all these traits you will achieve slowly and steadily. Till then get into test mindset for few days.

QZ.

Thank you for the response, QZ.

Can you suggest a source for a good run-through of the basics of Quant and Verbal? I have the MGMAT Quant guides but from the little knowledge I have gathered, they may be overkill before attempting the first CAT.

Thanks!

Hi, the GMATclub has released books for both math and verbal which will help you brush up your basics.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-math-bo ... 30609.html

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ultimate-gma ... 33952.html

Hope this helps!
_________________

Intern
Joined: 07 Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Location: India
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V45
GPA: 4
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2018, 21:28
1
Wildflower wrote:

Hi, the GMATclub has released books for both math and verbal which will help you brush up your basics.

Hope this helps!

Thanks a lot, Wildflower. This is exactly what I needed.
SVP
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 1905
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2018, 21:43
1
Interrobong wrote:
Thank you for the response, Pushpitkc.

I do understand that the purpose of taking the first mock is to understand my strengths and weaknesses, which would in turn help me build a study plan. My apprehension is merely that I may be too rusty from my long years of non-academic life, and hence underperform in sections not because I'm weak in them but because of my lack of recent exposure to an examination environment. So if I write a CAT today, I might get a better score in Verbal simply because I read a lot and a lower score in Quant because I'm not used to doing quick math. This would put me under the impression that I need more work on Quant than Verbal, when in reality I might have poor fundamentals in Verbal and just a bit out of practice in Quant. Hence, I was wondering if I should work on fundamentals a bit and solve sample questions to get in the groove before attempting my first CAT.

Do you agree with this, or do you feel rustiness won't make much of a difference to my overall score and I should just take the mock?

Thanks!
If you truly feel you are rusty, getting out of that means taking tests, not postponing them

It's clearly not necessary for you to take a practice test immediately. It's just that the upside to taking a practice test is much greater than the downside. At worst, you'll get a lower score than you would have after preparing for another 2 weeks. But the test will help you get an idea of what you need to work on and provide you the context around which you can take better decisions about how to study. At a very basic level, I think that you'll also be better able to relate to many of the discussions on this forum after taking a practice test.
_________________
Intern
Joined: 07 Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Location: India
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V45
GPA: 4
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 00:11
AjiteshArun wrote:
If you truly feel you are rusty, getting out of that means taking tests, not postponing them

It's clearly not necessary for you to take a practice test immediately. It's just that the upside to taking a practice test is much greater than the downside. At worst, you'll get a lower score than you would have after preparing for another 2 weeks. But the test will help you get an idea of what you need to work on and provide you the context around which you can take better decisions about how to study. At a very basic level, I think that you'll also be better able to relate to many of the discussions on this forum after taking a practice test.

Thank you for the response, AjiteshArun.

You make a fair point. Until I let myself at a test, I won't be off the blocks. I think I'll just spend 3-4 days skimming through the basics and attempt a CAT thereafter.
Manager
Joined: 21 Aug 2017
Posts: 86
Location: United States
Schools: Oxford"20 (A)
GMAT 1: 700 Q43 V42
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 06:46
1
Interrobong wrote:
You make a fair point. Until I let myself at a test, I won't be off the blocks. I think I'll just spend 3-4 days skimming through the basics and attempt a CAT thereafter.

Have you purchased the Official Guide yet? If not, you might as well do so right away. That is the only 100% must-purchase material you need. In it, you will find a diagnostic test at the beginning. It might not give you an exact number score, but if you take it while timing yourself, you'll get an idea of the speed at which you need to tackle the material. I feel like that would be a better use of your time and resources than an official GMATPrep CAT.
Intern
Joined: 07 Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Location: India
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V45
GPA: 4
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 06:58
jsheppa wrote:
Have you purchased the Official Guide yet? If not, you might as well do so right away. That is the only 100% must-purchase material you need. In it, you will find a diagnostic test at the beginning. It might not give you an exact number score, but if you take it while timing yourself, you'll get an idea of the speed at which you need to tackle the material. I feel like that would be a better use of your time and resources than an official GMATPrep CAT.

Oh I didn't know that! Thank you for the input, jsheppa. My OG is presently in shipping and I shall certainly go through the diagnostic test as soon as I lay my hands upon it.
VP
Status: It's near - I can see.
Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 1342
Location: India
GMAT 1: 480 Q38 V22
GPA: 3.01
WE: Engineering (Consulting)
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 09:16
Interrobong wrote:
QZ wrote:
Interrobong wrote:
Hello everyone!

Hi,

You are right that you should not jump to GMAT prep diagnostic test directly. IMO you should review the syllabus of GMAT first, and mainly for Quant and Verbal. Review your basics a bit of both the topics. This shall include math formulas, grammar etc. And then give a diagnostic test when you are mentally ready. GMAT is really a painful journey, and you must be mentally prepared for lots of ups and downs till you achieve your dream score. GMAT club is a great community where you will get every resource to crack this exam. This is a marathon test. You must have a habit of staring at screen for a longer duration. So all these traits you will achieve slowly and steadily. Till then get into test mindset for few days.

QZ.

Thank you for the response, QZ.

Can you suggest a source for a good run-through of the basics of Quant and Verbal? I have the MGMAT Quant guides but from the little knowledge I have gathered, they may be overkill before attempting the first CAT.

Thanks!

Yous should review MGMAT guides for both Q and V along with GC quant and grammar book. Links for both are provided in the thread above. Take 2 - 3 days and take a diagnostic then.

QZ
_________________

"Do not watch clock; Do what it does. KEEP GOING."

Intern
Joined: 07 Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Location: India
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V45
GPA: 4
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 22:18
QZ wrote:

Yous should review MGMAT guides for both Q and V along with GC quant and grammar book. Links for both are provided in the thread above. Take 2 - 3 days and take a diagnostic then.

QZ

Thank you again, QZ. I shall skim through the books and take the diagnostic pronto.
Re: When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT? &nbs [#permalink] 09 Apr 2018, 22:18
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# When should a rusty old gent attempt his first GMAT Prep CAT?

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