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Advise/Tips needed to optimize study strategy

This topic has 3 expert replies and 2 member replies
Carolin92 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 Oct 2015
Posted:
5 messages

Advise/Tips needed to optimize study strategy

Post Sun May 07, 2017 12:00 am
Hi guys,

I am studying for the gmat since 3.5 months now. I work full-time, hence my study time is quite limited. My test date is scheduled on May 21, so I still have two weeks to prepare.
I constantly review questions I got wrong and note in an error log why I got the question wrong and what would have been the correct approach. For some reason, there a few questions I get wrong over and over again even though I understand the concept, hence I feel I am not studying and using my error log efficiently (enough). I also make many careless mistakes but could not figure out yet how to reduce the number of such mistakes.
Would you recommend to review topics of questions directly after I got them wrong or rather to review each topic and try questions topic after topic?
Did you have similar problems and a suggestion how to improve or other study tips that could help me to improve?

Thank you very much in advance!!
Best,
Carolin

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Post Sun May 07, 2017 9:13 am
Hi Carolin,

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

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

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

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Carolin92 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 Oct 2015
Posted:
5 messages
Post Sun May 07, 2017 12:55 pm
Hi Rich,

thanks for your message!
Please see below a few more information to your points:

Studies:
1)I use the Magoosh premium account, the MGMAT Strategy guides (including CATs), the Official GMAT guide, Beatthegmat.com Flashcards

2)My results were as follows:
CAT1: 580 (Q40;V31) on February 2nd
CAT2: 620 (Q39; V35) on April 14
CAT3: 600 (Q39; V34) on April 23

I actually planned to do a fourth CAT this weekend but felt sick and decided to do it tomorrow. I plan to take 3 more CATs in total until the exam day.


3) yes, except for the first CAT.

Goals:

4) I want to achieve a score of 670+, but I feel that this score is very hard to achieve given the time constraint and my previous results. I will have time off from work from Thursday on, so I can dedicate more time for studying (but I still doubt that this will be enough). Fortunately, I have enough time to retake the test 4 - 6 weeks after the first attempt in case I dont get a satisfactory score.

My strength is definetly the verbal section, I began to study for verbal after I took my 3rd CAT (I only read the MGMAT strategy guides until then) and see good results at least from the practice questions in the OG & from Magoosh, hence I hope I can increase my overall score with a higher verbal score.

I think I am somehow stuck with quant.. I certainly do have knowledge gaps which I try to fix by reviewing the theory and wrong questions, but I unfortunately only see small improvements (and still many careless results Sad )


5) I want to begin a Master degree in spring or autumn 2018 (hence I am not that much under time pressure Smile )

6) I definetly want to apply to NUS & HKUST; there are a few other BUs I may consider depending on my GMAT score

It would be great if you could provide me with your advice how I could change or finetune my strategy to get back on the right track.

Thank you in advance!
Carolin

Post Sun May 07, 2017 2:31 pm
Hi Carolin,

Your 3 practice CAT scores are remarkably similar to one another. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your CAT results show that you essentially performed the same each time (right around 600, +/- a few points). With just 2 weeks to go, it's likely that you'll continue to perform at this general level. To score 670+, you'll need to make some fundamental changes to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections - and all of those adjustments will take time (beyond learning and practicing new Tactics, you have to work to make them your 'go to' approaches). Barring a significantly higher score on your next CAT, all of that work will likely require another 1-2 months of consistent, guided study. This is meant to say that you might want to consider pushing back your Test Date - but thankfully it sounds like you have the available study time, so we should plan to take advantage of it.

1) What are the application deadlines for the Programs that you wan to apply to?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Carolin92 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 Oct 2015
Posted:
5 messages
Post Mon May 08, 2017 3:43 am
Hi Rich,

the deadline for the program starting in spring 2018 is July 15, 2017.
The next deadlines are in November 2017.
I already considered to push back the test date but thought that it might be better to take the test, gain the test experience and retake the test 4 - 6 weeks later if necessary.

How much time would you recommend to plan between the first and second test date?

Thank you and regards,
CArolin

Post Mon May 08, 2017 9:46 am
Hi Carolin,

You seem to understand that if you take the GMAT as scheduled then you probably won't hit your goal score. Thankfully, Business Schools don't really care if you retake the GMAT (and you can always cancel your score if you're truly unhappy with it). The potential 'drawbacks' to this plan are that you'll have to spend $250 (whereas paying to reschedule the Exam would cost you just $50) and you might be tempted to try to 'cram' in a lot of study time into these last 2 weeks (which could lead to 'burn-out').

It's tough to say exactly when you should plan to take the GMAT that second time. I'd really need to see a more recent CAT score (as a measure of your current skills) and your Official Score result (so I can see how you perform on Test Day). If we assume that you'll probably score around 600 on both the CAT and the Official GMAT, then I would assume about another month of study after this upcoming Test Date would needed.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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