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When to take the GMAT ?

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New post 29 Sep 2018, 06:48
Hi!

I'm currently in TYBMS, will graduate next May('19) .
I'm thinking of taking the gmat before i graduate. But I'm not sure when i shall start my preparation. My sem 5 finals are in mid november.
From all that i've read 3-4 mos prep is apt. Sometimes stretching it out is not helpful. If i start now soon by november ill have to start studying only for my semester finals. which will break the link. Also sem 6 finals should by around next April. So can you'll guide me out pls where i can study well for both my college exam and gmat too.
Also I took the free official mock test to see where i stand and i scored 340.
So kindly help me out!
Thanks!
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New post 29 Sep 2018, 09:30
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devshah98 wrote:
Hi!

I'm currently in TYBMS, will graduate next May('19) .
I'm thinking of taking the gmat before i graduate. But I'm not sure when i shall start my preparation. My sem 5 finals are in mid november.
From all that i've read 3-4 mos prep is apt. Sometimes stretching it out is not helpful. If i start now soon by november ill have to start studying only for my semester finals. which will break the link. Also sem 6 finals should by around next April. So can you'll guide me out pls where i can study well for both my college exam and gmat too.
Also I took the free official mock test to see where i stand and i scored 340.
So kindly help me out!
Thanks!


Hey devshah98 ,

The answer depends quite a bit on how much time you can devote to your GMAT prep. In general, it would probably be useful for you to think of the GMAT as an additional semesterial course you need to take. Specifically, we generally recommend about 120 hours of prep time, with maybe up to an extra 30-40 hours if your English needs a significant boost.

Keep in mind that if you're pressed for time, you'll likely want to follow a structured course which guides you step by step through the process. This is almost always more efficient in terms of time (and usually also yields better results) than learning by yourself, whether via books or via forums.

If you like a more personalized answer, please don't hesitate to PM me or ask us here on our 24/7 live chat.
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Re: When to take the GMAT ?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2018, 14:16
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Hi devshah98,

Depending on how busy your class/study schedule currently is, it might be challenging to fit in the proper amount of GMAT-specific study time. That having been said, before we can determine how best for you to proceed, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) How much time do you think you would have each week to study for the GMAT?
2) What is your goal score?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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New post 02 Oct 2018, 17:32
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Hi devshah98,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Since you scored 340 on your initial diagnostic, you probably will need a minimum of 6 months to adequately prepare for your GMAT (assuming you have a 700+ score goal). Thus, you may not have the time you need to complete the GMAT prior to your graduation in May. However, even if you have to take your GMAT after graduation, if you have the time to start studying now, then there is no time like the present, right? If you began your GMAT prep after your November exams, how many hours a day could you study from November to late March (before your next round of finals)?

When you do begin your preparation, feel free to reach back out, and I can provide some further advice on how to set up a study plan.

Lastly, you may find the following two articles helpful:
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT and how long to study for the GMAT.

Good luck!
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New post 02 Oct 2018, 23:00
ScottTargetTestPrep

Hi thank you so much for your help!
I'm planning to start preparing right away, but November won't be possible. Again after my semester is done i can get back to gmat from say December to Feb end for sure. I'm not sure exact hours but ill have my major focus on gmat at that time so a good 2-3 hrs daily surely.
Further if you could pls help me with a study plan!

Thanks!
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New post 04 Oct 2018, 02:24
Hi devshah98,

Your score of 340 suggests significant gaps in conceptual knowledge and application process. I would recommend that you start studying ASAP if you want to take the GMAT before graduating. You must follow a structured approach and learn all the concepts tested in GMAT from scratch. I invite you to try the e-GMAT Free Trial to see if the teaching style compliments your learning style. I am sharing a few links here, more of these are available in your Free Trial dashboard.

If you have any other queries regarding GMAT preparation, please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com.

Regards,
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New post 04 Oct 2018, 17:05
Hi devshah98,

You will need to devise a solid preparation plan that allows you to learn linearly, such that you can slowly build mastery of one GMAT topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts. For example, if you are learning about Number Properties, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. 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 around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

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.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. Keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, it is likely that you will have to work on all three of those aspects, and it is also likely that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved because you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

In order to follow the path described above, you may consider using an online self-study course, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.
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Re: When to take the GMAT ? &nbs [#permalink] 04 Oct 2018, 17:05
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