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Ask for advice for on-month preparing for GMAT

This topic has 3 expert replies and 4 member replies
RayChan Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
22 Aug 2015
Posted:
12 messages

Ask for advice for on-month preparing for GMAT

Post Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:43 pm
Hi, there!

I have taken the GMAT exam once in 31th, July. And the score is IR:5 Verbal:20 Math:49. I wanna improve both my Verbal part and Math part. I think I can figure out the Math part more easily than the Verbal part myself. So, I m here asking for Verbal preparing advice!

Last time, I just review the OG 2015th for 2 times. And I didn't do the whole CAT tests before the exam.

I m planning for the test in 24th, September. And I hope I can get a 700+ this time. Also, I m preparing for the 2016 application this fall.

I m planning to do the OG again, read Manhattan SC, and do the prep test this time!

Hope get more advice here!

Thank you for help!

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Post Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:03 am
Hi RayChan,

With your score goal, you're going to have to make some BIG improvements to how you handle the Verbal section. With a September 24th Test Date, you have about 4 weeks of study time - that might be enough time, but you'll have to get a lot of work done.

From what you've described, it sounds like you were focused on doing lots of practice questions, but not on learning Verbal tactics. Until you've learned some new tactics, working through the OG again will probably not be that beneficial. You should also make sure to take the FULL CAT each time, so that you build up your endurance to face the FULL GMAT.

How long did you study for your first attempt at the GMAT?
When are your application deadlines?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

RayChan Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
22 Aug 2015
Posted:
12 messages
Post Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:15 am
Hi, Rich

I studied for about two month when taking the first test. But I didn't spend too much time on the test because of the school courses. Sometimes I even stopped for a while and then kept on preparing.

The deadline of first round application will be October or November. The time range will be different according to different programs. And the deadline of the second round will be December. Till now, my target school's deadline of first round is 2nd, October.

I actually plan to do more exercise and in the mean time learn more tactics through reading the interpretation. But I m still not sure whether it is the most effective method.

Thank you for help!
Ray
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi RayChan,

With your score goal, you're going to have to make some BIG improvements to how you handle the Verbal section. With a September 24th Test Date, you have about 4 weeks of study time - that might be enough time, but you'll have to get a lot of work done.

From what you've described, it sounds like you were focused on doing lots of practice questions, but not on learning Verbal tactics. Until you've learned some new tactics, working through the OG again will probably not be that beneficial. You should also make sure to take the FULL CAT each time, so that you build up your endurance to face the FULL GMAT.

How long did you study for your first attempt at the GMAT?
When are your application deadlines?

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

Post Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:38 am
Hi RayChan,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) on their studies to hit their 'peak' scores, so it's likely that you just have not put in enough time and effort yet.

If you had more time than you currently have, then you might be able to 'teach yourself' how to handle the Verbal section - but I'm concerned about the limited timeframe that you have left. With that type of approach you would also likely miss out on all of the tactics, patterns, 'secrets' and tips that you would learn from a GMAT Course. Given your score goal, I think that you might end up getting 'stuck' if you study in this way.

Have you considered investing in a Verbal Course of some type?
How many hours do you think you can commit to your studies each week?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

RayChan Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
22 Aug 2015
Posted:
12 messages
Post Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:52 am
Hi, Rich

I plan to take about 36-40 hours a week for the test. I can guarantee 8 or more hours in weekend, and 4 hours or so in weekdays. I've already invested an course for the exam for 15 days this summer. And the class was mainly about the introduction and some skills. I m ok to invest more if necessary, but I m worry about the quality. Because I think the most important thing may not be listening to courses but making those tactics to be my own custom and practising. This is part of my opinion. And I look forward to your advice. Thank you!
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi RayChan,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) on their studies to hit their 'peak' scores, so it's likely that you just have not put in enough time and effort yet.

If you had more time than you currently have, then you might be able to 'teach yourself' how to handle the Verbal section - but I'm concerned about the limited timeframe that you have left. With that type of approach you would also likely miss out on all of the tactics, patterns, 'secrets' and tips that you would learn from a GMAT Course. Given your score goal, I think that you might end up getting 'stuck' if you study in this way.

Have you considered investing in a Verbal Course of some type?
How many hours do you think you can commit to your studies each week?

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

Marty Murray Legendary Member
Joined
03 Feb 2014
Posted:
2037 messages
Followed by:
129 members
Thanked:
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GMAT Score:
800
Post Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:30 pm
Hi Ray.

You might think that taking a test such as the GMAT would require minimal preparation, especially as the math and verbal concepts used in creating the questions are fairly basic. The truth is, however, that somehow one can significantly increase one's score through preparation, and that for most people minimal preparation does not make sense as they can score so much higher if they put significant energy into preparation.

The upshot of this is that, yes, your preparation did not match what's necessary for you to hit your score goal.

For one thing, the test itself, with its four sections and tight time constraints, is a challenge, and so by not practicing handling the test you left yourself at a significant disadvantage. So going forward you probably should take practice tests regularly as you prepare, maybe one every week or two, depending on what makes sense. By doing this you can get a sense of what the test is like, develop a sense of how to handle it, and assess how your preparation is going.

In case you are not aware of this, the best practice tests available are the ones created by GMAC. You can get two free ones by downloading the GMAT Prep software available on mba.com. Some test prep companies, such as Veritas and Manhattan Prep also make pretty good practice tests. It's good to have a half dozen practice tests available as the GMAT is somewhat of a game and part of what it takes to score higher is just playing the game.

I realize that you said you are looking for verbal advice, but as an aside, you can best increase your quant score by analyzing your performance to figure out what areas you need to work on and then focusing on each area until you are comfortable with it. Speaking of games, one way to play GMAT quant like a game is to open a GMAT practice account at http://bellcurves.com/ and just start playing the quant categories like a video game.

To increase your verbal score, using Manhattan SC sounds like a good start. I am not sure how much you need to do or what exactly you need to change to get your verbal score to your goal, but one way to get some practice and assess what you need to do is to use the verbal section of the Veritas Question Bank. That will give you some fresh questions. It may be that you would be best off using some other resources as well.

One KEY thing to realize about GMAT verbal is that it's basically a reasoning game, one that tends to be rather hackable. So many of the skills you use to score high on GMAT quant are applicable to scoring high on verbal too. You just need to learn to hack your way to right answers. One thing that means is that you shouldn't get too caught up in any rules or specific strategies you might learn about. Often I see people who could be totally rocking GMAT verbal not scoring very high because they are somehow focusing on rules and learned strategies to the degree that they are distracting themselves from reasoning and hacking Yes the rules and strategies can be useful, but the GMAT is not a grammar test. It's an entrance exam for business school. So naturally the skills it tests most are decision making and reasoning related. I mean do you really think a business school cares particularly that you know picky grammar rules? So while learning certain rules can be useful, that learning is not the be all and end all of preparation for GMAT verbal.

Obviously you can hit your score goal. Will you do that in a month? Maybe. One thing that will be a factor in the effectiveness of your preparation will be the degree to which you get what the verbal section of the GMAT is really about and to which you figure out how to optimally handle the questions.

_________________
Marty Murray
GMAT Coach
m.w.murray@hotmail.com
http://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

Thanked by: RayChan
Post Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:09 am
Hi RayChan,

With your current Test Date, you have about 4 weeks of study time - which is not that much time to spend. I think that planning for 36-40 hours of study per week is TOO MUCH, and I'm concerned that you might 'burn out' before Test Day, but you have to decide what's best for you.

Since you have some concerns about the usefulness of certain GMAT materials, you should take advantage of the free materials available. Most GMAT Companies offer some type of free materials (practice problems, Trial Accounts, videos, etc.) that you can use to 'test out' a product before you buy it. We have a variety of those resources at out site (www.empowergmat.com). I suggest that you take advantage of all of them then choose the one that best matches your personality, timeline and budget.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Thanked by: RayChan
RayChan Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
22 Aug 2015
Posted:
12 messages
Post Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:20 pm
Thank you for your advice. I will take a look at those links!

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