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1 month quant focused study plan

This topic has 5 expert replies and 2 member replies
kimma Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
08 Aug 2016
Posted:
3 messages

1 month quant focused study plan

Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:37 am
Hello all

I've been toying with the idea of applying to some schools this fall, but knew I would struggle with the maths elements of the GMAT. I've been doing some light revision over the last few weeks, and yesterday took the first Practice Exam on the GMAT Prep Software, to judge if I could pursue this or not.

I came out with a score I'm reasonably pleased with as a fist stab: 620. However this is not high enough for the schools I am looking at, for which I'd want to be pushing 700-720.

The more interesting thing which is leading me to ask for assistance here (thanks in advance) is the score breakdown. While I scored in the 97th percentile (44) for Verbal I was way down in 26th (31) for my Quant score.

What is the best way to develop a study plan which largely focuses on my quant deficit? Please recognise I've not had any schooling in math for well over ten years (and sucked back then!)?

I'd like to take the test in about a month and not spend a fortune. So far I just picked up some old copies of the GMAT review on Ebay.

Thoughts appreciated. Many thanks!

Regards
Kimma



Last edited by kimma on Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:51 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:36 am
kimma wrote:
Hello all

I've been toying with the idea of applying to some schools this fall, but knew I would struggle with the maths elements of the GMAT. I've been doing some light revision over the last few weeks, and yesterday took the first Practice Exam on the GMAT Prep Software, to judge if I could pursue this or not.

I came out with a score I'm reasonably pleased with as a fist stab: 620. However this is not high enough for the schools I am looking at, for which I'd want to be pushing 700-720.

The more interesting thing which is leading me to ask for assistance here (thanks in advance) is the score breakdown. While I scored in the 97th percentile (44) for Verbal I was way down in 26th (31) for my Quant score.

What is the best way to develop a study plain which largely focuses on by quant deficit? Please recognise I've not had any schooling in math for well over ten years (and sucked back then!)?

I'd like to take the test in about a month and not spend a fortune. So far I just picked up some old copies of the GMAT review on Ebay.

Thoughts appreciated. Many thanks!

Regards
Kimma
This is an enviable situation to be in. Because so much of the quant is based on concepts you studied in grade or middle school, most test-takers are pretty rusty at first. (And be careful about how you frame your performance. There's a lot of research indicating that when we label ourselves as bad at something, it actually has a measurably negative effect on performance. So that's reframe: math may not have been your favorite subject back in the day, but with a little work, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how something that felt like a liability can actually prove to be a strength. Moreover, you'll find that the quant section is less about math ability, and more about reasoning and logic.) If you work through a good structured program that emphasizes fundamentals, and you hit weekly practice tests, you'll be at 700+ quickly.

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Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:07 am
Hi Kimma,

A 620 is a strong initial CAT score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years). While your goal score is definitely achievable, the time and effort that it will likely require is greater than the parameters that you want to work under.

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores. From your post, it doesn't sound like you've been studying for too long, so your plan to just study for about a month isn't necessarily going to be enough time/effort for you to hit your goal. Furthermore, the 700+ score represents the 90th percentile, meaning that 90% of Test Takers can't or won't do what it takes to score at that level. Beyond the shorter study time period, there's also some question as to how much money you want to invest in this whole process. Given the importance of a high GMAT score to the overall application process, you might have to change your plans a bit.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) Do you know which Schools you plan to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

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kimma Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
08 Aug 2016
Posted:
3 messages
Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:50 pm
Hi Rich,

What I'll take from Veritas and your comments is to be positive but realistic Smile

In terms of the parameters, they may need to change, but it is clearly key that I focus my efforts. In terms of weekly study time, I think it is reasonable to up this to about 1hr per day in the week and 5+ hours at the weekend, and I've already started to ramp up my effort - but feel I'm lacking structure, hence the post.

In terms of the amount of time I have, this obviously depends on when I plan to sit the test. I had assumed I would do this in mid September in time to get my applications off in October. It is not clear to me exactly to what extent, but it seems that getting my application in during an early round is important.

In terms of schools, I'm still narrowing down. I visited SBS in Oxford and Berkeley over the last couple of months, and have had some other conversations. I think I am set on looking at one of the top 1 year courses in Europe.

Given what you know, I'd be keen to get a sense of what you think I should budget for, in time (intensive and length) and money, to get the results I need.

Thanks and Regards
Kimma


Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi Kimma,

A 620 is a strong initial CAT score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years). While your goal score is definitely achievable, the time and effort that it will likely require is greater than the parameters that you want to work under.

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores. From your post, it doesn't sound like you've been studying for too long, so your plan to just study for about a month isn't necessarily going to be enough time/effort for you to hit your goal. Furthermore, the 700+ score represents the 90th percentile, meaning that 90% of Test Takers can't or won't do what it takes to score at that level. Beyond the shorter study time period, there's also some question as to how much money you want to invest in this whole process. Given the importance of a high GMAT score to the overall application process, you might have to change your plans a bit.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) Do you know which Schools you plan to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Post Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:59 pm
Hi Kimma,

If your Verbal skills are strong enough that you can continue to score into the V40s, then you likely won't need to study too much in those Verbal areas (other than some periodic work to keep you skills sharp). To raise your Quant score, you'll need to improve in a number of areas, including content knowledge, Tactics and overall organization/execution. I suspect that about 2 months of consistent, guided study would be enough to get you to your goal score, but it's possible that you could improve faster than that.

As far as applications go, your goal should be to have a strong OVERALL application for the 1st or 2nd application Round. If you have to rush to make the 1st Round deadlines, then you might end up sending in a less-polished application (and there's no point in doing that if you're just going to get wait-listed). A couple of extra months would allow you to strengthen any number of areas to your application, so going for Round 2 might be the better option. That all having been said, you don't have to decide on that issue either way just yet.

Since this recent score is your first CAT score, and you already have some practice resources, you might want to study as you see fit for the next week. After that, you should take a new FULL-LENGTH CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) and report back here with your score. That result will give us a better sense of how well your studies are going and whether you need to invest in any new practice materials or not.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

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kimma Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
08 Aug 2016
Posted:
3 messages
Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:00 am
Hi Rich,

Thanks for this really constructive input.

I think I did do the Full Length CAT, with the AWA and IR, for the latter I scored 8, which apparently puts me in the 92nd percentile. For the AWA, as I understand it I get no score, but I have some learning to take away in terms of time management - I think my analysis of the argument was fine, but my time management was poor and left me not enough time to properly proof the text.

As suggested though I am ploughing on with the various element of the quant section, and will update, if that's OK.

Many thanks
Kimma

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi Kimma,

If your Verbal skills are strong enough that you can continue to score into the V40s, then you likely won't need to study too much in those Verbal areas (other than some periodic work to keep you skills sharp). To raise your Quant score, you'll need to improve in a number of areas, including content knowledge, Tactics and overall organization/execution. I suspect that about 2 months of consistent, guided study would be enough to get you to your goal score, but it's possible that you could improve faster than that.

As far as applications go, your goal should be to have a strong OVERALL application for the 1st or 2nd application Round. If you have to rush to make the 1st Round deadlines, then you might end up sending in a less-polished application (and there's no point in doing that if you're just going to get wait-listed). A couple of extra months would allow you to strengthen any number of areas to your application, so going for Round 2 might be the better option. That all having been said, you don't have to decide on that issue either way just yet.

Since this recent score is your first CAT score, and you already have some practice resources, you might want to study as you see fit for the next week. After that, you should take a new FULL-LENGTH CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) and report back here with your score. That result will give us a better sense of how well your studies are going and whether you need to invest in any new practice materials or not.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:22 am
Hi Kimma,

If you're still planning to take the GMAT in about a month, then you're going to want to include some rather specific work as part of your studies going forward. You should plan to take a FULL CAT about once a week and put in the necessary time to review the entire Exam. Furthermore, since Test Day is a rather specific 'event', you should do your best to make how you take your practice CATs 'match up' with what you'll face on Test Day (in as many ways as is reasonably possible). The more your CATs deviate from what you'll experience on Test Day, the more that those practice scores can deviate (and in many cases, an unrealistic, 'inflated' score is the result).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:19 pm
Hi Kimma,

A 620 is a great starting GMAT score. Since you are looking to improve your score to a 700+, you should aim for a 47+ quant score. Over the past 10 years, I have worked with many GMAT students who have been able to improve from a Q31 to Q47+; however, the vast majority of them had to study for longer than just 1 month. Since you have not touched math in 10 years, you may consider giving yourself 3+ months to learn GMAT quant. You must realize that the GMAT is such a challenging exam because there are relatively few questions asked in a given exam, yet those questions come from a huge topic pool. Thus, the best way to get a great GMAT score is to have a thorough understanding of all the topics that may be tested on the exam. The best way to sufficiently learn all of the GMAT quant topics is to 1) find the best study materials and 2) give yourself time to absorb all of the quant topics.

I see you have purchased the OG as your main study resource.The Official Guide is a great book because it has official questions from past GMATs; however, there are not enough questions given about each topic to provide full exposure to all GMAT topics. Additionally, the questions are presented in a random order, so it’s challenging to use the OG for focused practice.

Thus, you may consider a more robust study resource than a GMAT prep book; try an online self-study course. If you are unsure of what is available you can check out the course reviews on GMAT Club, which has thousands of verified reviews of different GMAT prep resources.

To help diagnose your GMAT quant strengths and weaknesses, I welcome you to take my free 37-question quant diagnostic. After completing the diagnostic, you are provided with a detailed analysis of your proficiency level of all GMAT quant topics, as well as an opportunity to discuss your diagnostic results with me or another TTP instructor/coach.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!

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