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Additional GMAT practice

This topic has 6 expert replies and 2 member replies
rohan.tarun Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 Apr 2017
Posted:
9 messages

Additional GMAT practice

Post Fri May 19, 2017 12:19 pm
Hey guys,
I'm close to taking the real test and I would like to think I'm 2-3 weeks away from it. I want to use official questions as practice in the final weeks but I stumble upon some confusion as to what to rely upon. I see various packs - exam pack 1, exam pack 2, question pack 1 and question pack 2. Can someone tell me what the best resource here is? I would like to do about 300-400 questions and take 2-3 practice tests in the next two weeks. I already took the GMAT Prep. I see the information on GMAT website and it's confusing as to what is the best source. Also, do the latest packs have any advantage/disadvantage compared to older packs/tests?

Thanks for your time.

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Post Sat May 20, 2017 10:13 am
Hi rohan.tarun,

Before we can discuss what you should be focused on (and which study materials you should be using) it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
4) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (with the Essay and IR sections)?

Goals:
5) What is your goal score?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

rohan.tarun Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 Apr 2017
Posted:
9 messages
Post Sat May 20, 2017 11:23 am
Hello Rich,

To answer your questions, I had taken a CAT on 4/22(GMAT Prep -1), one week after I started studying. I work a full time job and started studying in the early morning for 2 hours and often for an hour in the evening. Then I took the GMAT Prep-2 on 5/6. I'm quite good with Quant but want to achieve the 50 or 51 score. Verbal is my weak area and purchased the MGMAT CR,SC and RC books and completed them but don't see much improvement in verbal since I have been learning so far and not practicing. I used Magoosh right from the beginning along with OG, OG V, OG Q. Since I'm done with the two GMAT prep, I thought I can use the GMAT packs to get more tests. I'm not a big fan of the idea to use other companies' CAT tests when there are ample GMAT official resources although the packs confuse me as to how many tests are available.

My test scores are:
GMAT Prep -1 : 580(Q42 & V28 & IR 7) - I thought I would be in the early 600's but nevertheless, it was the first test and I was fairly beginning to study. I had no time sense and left the last 9 in quant and 7 in verbal section unanswered.
GMAT Prep -2 : 660(Q49 vs V30) - I had 14 incorrect in math and still got a 49, which was surprising. But realized that it is a waste to spend time on really hard questions on the test, it seemed that test would punish you more if you got the easy ones wrong. Did not take the IR here.

Although I did not get the 50 or 51 yet and I'm strong in quant, I cannot take the test today and say that I will secure a 49 or more. I need to see how more tests would come out. I'm still at cross roads as to how to improve the verbal score since I'm always finding myself completing just 35-36 of the 41 questions and no time for the remaining. I end up just guessing them.

I'm about to finish 52 days of prep for the test. I still have a few more questions to finish in the OG(around a 100). Goal score is 720 plus and target schools are LBS, ISB and INSEAD. I would like to be done with the test by the end of June if it is possible. I would gladly welcome any suggestions. Thanks very much for taking the time to write to my questions.

Post Sat May 20, 2017 2:44 pm
rohan.tarun wrote:
Hey guys,
I'm close to taking the real test and I would like to think I'm 2-3 weeks away from it. I want to use official questions as practice in the final weeks but I stumble upon some confusion as to what to rely upon. I see various packs - exam pack 1, exam pack 2, question pack 1 and question pack 2. Can someone tell me what the best resource here is? I would like to do about 300-400 questions and take 2-3 practice tests in the next two weeks. I already took the GMAT Prep. I see the information on GMAT website and it's confusing as to what is the best source. Also, do the latest packs have any advantage/disadvantage compared to older packs/tests?

Thanks for your time.
If you want to focus on one topic at a time, you can use BTG's tagging feature to isolate one concept.
For example, here are all of the questions tagged as statistics questions: http://www.beatthegmat.com/forums/tags/gmat-math/statistics
See the left side of that linked page for more tag options.

Cheers,
Brent

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Post Sun May 21, 2017 9:43 am
Hi rohan.tarun,

You've made some really nice progress so far, especially considering that you've been studying for just over 1 month. Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so it's likely that you just have not put in enough time and effort yet to have scored higher. By extension, you will likely continue to improve as you continue to study. The issue now is really about how efficiently you can go about those studies.

With a score goal of 720+, you're going to have to make some significant improvements to how yo handle the Verbal section. You will also have to make sure that you take your CATs in as realistic a fashion as possible (so take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you think you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Based on what you've described, you didn't take the CATs in a completely realistic fashion, so your two CAT scores are likely a bit 'inflated.'

While the 6 Official GMAC CATs are the most realistic CATs available - and no 3rd party CATs are a perfect match for the Official GMAT - a number of them are 'close enough' to give you a reasonably accurate score - ASSUMING that you use the CAT correctly. This is meant to say that you don't have to limit yourself to the Official CATs (especially if you end up needing additional practice).

1) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Post Sun May 21, 2017 2:17 pm
rohan.tarun wrote:
Hey guys,
I'm close to taking the real test and I would like to think I'm 2-3 weeks away from it. I want to use official questions as practice in the final weeks but I stumble upon some confusion as to what to rely upon. I see various packs - exam pack 1, exam pack 2, question pack 1 and question pack 2. Can someone tell me what the best resource here is? I would like to do about 300-400 questions and take 2-3 practice tests in the next two weeks. I already took the GMAT Prep. I see the information on GMAT website and it's confusing as to what is the best source. Also, do the latest packs have any advantage/disadvantage compared to older packs/tests?

Thanks for your time.
There's no content difference between the different exam packs / question pack - they're all just different sets of official questions. They're also not significantly different from the free GMATPrep software. Anecdotally, some people say that the free pack is a little bit easier and the for-purchase exam packs are a little bit harder, but any difference would be minimal.

Each exam pack has 2 CATs, so if you want to take 3, you'll have to purchase both. These exam packs do not contain additional practice questions. If you want to practice question sets NOT in a CAT, you'll have to purchase the question pack.

Just note - you won't get answer explanations to any GMATPrep materials, so you'll have to use this forum for answer explanations.

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EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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Post Sun May 21, 2017 2:19 pm
Quote:
Verbal is my weak area and purchased the MGMAT CR,SC and RC books and completed them but don't see much improvement in verbal since I have been learning so far and not practicing.
Reading the books is not enough, as you have realized. And simply practicing is also not enough. You need to deeply analyze all of the questions you've gotten wrong, and ask yourself:
- why is every single wrong answer wrong?
- why am I *sure* that the right answer is right?
- what can I extrapolate to future problems? In other words, "When I see ___________, I should do/think ________."

Keep a Review Log / Error Log to track your work: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2013/01/18/the-worst-mistake-you-can-make-in-gmat-studying/

_________________


Ceilidh Erickson
Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


Manhattan Prep instructors all have 99th+ percentile scores and expert teaching experience.
Sign up for a FREE TRIAL, and learn why we have the highest ratings in the GMAT industry!

Free Manhattan Prep online events - The first class of every online Manhattan Prep course is free. Classes start every week.
rohan.tarun Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 Apr 2017
Posted:
9 messages
Post Mon May 22, 2017 11:24 am
Hello Rich,

Thank you for taking the time to write an elaborated reply. I agree with everything you said. Going forward, I will take the CAT's in as realistic a way as I possibly can.

I can spend about 15 hours a week going forward. Can you specify as to how I can efficiently go about this and go from 660 to 720+? For starters, I will start maintaining an error log for verbal. I get 85-90% of SC's right. CR's stand at about 65%. Main problem is RC which is about 45-50%. I want to study for another month and do it properly and want to reach the 720+!! Is there any plan that you know I can follow for a month intensely and achieve my goal? My undergrad GPA is 4.0 and my academic background has always been in top 1% except my earlier masters which is 3.4. I want to offset that with a great GMAT score so I want to target 720+. One problem I want to point out is that when I do verbal in batches of 15 questions, I get more than 80% of them right, however when I practice 41 questions in one go, that drops to about 65%, which is quite baffling. Since I was always good at quant, I want to improve in verbal as there is a lot of room in there to do that. I want to use the remaining 4 official CAT's very carefully, do not want to be using them up and then be stranded without tests. So this is the point where I need to come up with a plan to go about the next one month. Thanks again.

Post Mon May 22, 2017 3:03 pm
Hi rohan.tarun,

You've come to realize that there's a difference between performing well when working on small sets of practice questions (especially when you're 'restricting' yourself to specific subjects) and performing well during a FULL CAT. One of the important things to keep in mind about the Verbal section of the GMAT is that - on Test Day - you will work through about 3 hours of other subjects BEFORE you see your first Verbal question. Thus, fatigue is something that you have to learn to deal with (either by finding ways to minimize it or by learning to perform at a higher level even when you are tired). Those types of adjustments take time to learn.

Since it's likely that your recent CAT score is a bit inflated, it's not safe to assume that you're actually at the 660 'level' right now. If we assume that you're probably in the low-600s, then you're talking about a roughly 100+ point improvement - and that might be too difficult of a task for just 1 month of study. The score improvement that you're looking for in the Verbal section will require that you learn to 'see' (and respond to) that section of the Test in new ways. Your two Verbal Scores, while likely a bit inflated, are also remarkably similar - which means that you continue to handle that section in the same general way. By extension, you may have developed some 'bad habits' that will take time to fix (and replace with new 'good habits'. This is meant to say that you will probably need closer to 2 months of consistent, guided study to get to your goal score. You will also almost certainly need to invest in some new, non-book GMAT materials with an emphasis on learning/practicing the proper Verbal Tactics.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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