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From 600 to 700 in one month

This topic has 3 expert replies and 1 member reply
Ju_Mou Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
12 Jun 2017
Posted:
2 messages

From 600 to 700 in one month

Post Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:57 pm
Hi Team,

In need of your professional opinion and some expert advice over here!
I am in pursuit of my dream to attend top tier business school for a part-time MBA (Stern/Berkeley/Booth) and, like many others, struggling to get my GMAT score on par with my dreams. To profile myself and my GMAT struggle:
- I just took my GMAT this afternoon: Quant - 39, Verbal - 34. Overall score - 600.
- I started studying for GMAT with Veritas Prep in-person course last year, but got totally overwhelmed with a new client at work and had to withdraw myself from studying prematurely. Besides, while taking the course, I realized that I had much more work to do on my basic math skills, and that I wasn't able to keep up with the expected pace of the program. To give you more background, I moved to the US when I was 18 and have not taken any math classes since then (I passed my math test on the entrance exam to the US college + transferred my credits and never had to worry about it until now). I resumed studying when I scheduled my test (to avoid procrastination) 3 months before the test. In 3 months I went from lower 500s to lower 600s while using Veritas online study material.
- I will admit I could have studied harder. Late nights at the office, keeping up with the household chores made it a little more challenging to focus on studying. I studied every other weekday and 5-6 hours each weekend day, but in the last week before the exam I realized that I still had a lot that I could polish.
- My weakest part is Quant, particularly Data Sufficiency and lengthy text problems as I struggle to hold on to the flow of the problem. I could definitely improve my verbal score as well though, since it received little to no attention during my studying. I am a non-native English speaker, though I have lived in the US for the last 10 years, so I am pretty well versed in English, but I do have a problem reading certain content as I loose my attention pretty quickly.
- Additional background: I graduated from a good public school with GPA 3.65 while working full-time in hospitality industry to pay for the tuition and living expenses. I have about 3 years of industry work experience and whole bunch of years (and lost patience/gained wisdom) in hospitality. I intent to apply for a part-time MBA at Stern, Berkeley and Booth for Fall 2018, so I still have time.

Finally, my question: what would be the best strategy for me to study and re-take the test? I am hoping to continue studying for the next month and a half, to use that momentum, and retake the test at the end of July. What can you recommend? As much as I would love to have a personal tutor, I can't really afford to pay $250 per hour for multiple hours. Should I just continue solving DS and word problems online? Should I take one class with a tutor? Are there any other tests that can help me pre-determine the strategy for studying?

Would greatly appreciate your help!

Julia

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Post Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:35 am
Hi Julia,

From what you've described, you've made some nice improvements to your score so far. The next 100+ points that you're looking to gain will take a bit more effort though - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. It's likely that all of that work will take at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study. This is meant to say that you will likely need more time than you've budgeted.

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

Thanked by: Ju_Mou
Ju_Mou Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
12 Jun 2017
Posted:
2 messages
Post Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:39 pm
Hi Rich,

Thank you for your timely and detailed response! I can dedicate as much as 3-4 hours a day during week days and all day on weekends. I may not be the smartest cookie out there, but I am surely one of the most stubborn ones. My other reason for why I want to take this test at the end of July is because I am leaving abroad to see my family for 2.5 weeks in August, something I can no longer cancel, so I was afraid that dropping my hard core determination and studying for 2.5 weeks will set me back again. Do you think month and a half of everyday studying is not enough? Just trying to weight my options here and come up with the best solution for my situation.
Also, just to throw it out there: I actually do solve the problems, even some of the 700-800 level, and quiet frankly really enjoy it, yet it takes me way longer than 2 minutes per problem on average. So when I took my test I actually had to blindly pick answers for the last 6 questions because I ran out of time.

Look forward to hearing back from you! Appreciate all the feedback!

Post Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:43 am
Ju_Mou wrote:
Hi Team,

In need of your professional opinion and some expert advice over here!
I am in pursuit of my dream to attend top tier business school for a part-time MBA (Stern/Berkeley/Booth) and, like many others, struggling to get my GMAT score on par with my dreams. To profile myself and my GMAT struggle:
- I just took my GMAT this afternoon: Quant - 39, Verbal - 34. Overall score - 600.
- I started studying for GMAT with Veritas Prep in-person course last year, but got totally overwhelmed with a new client at work and had to withdraw myself from studying prematurely. Besides, while taking the course, I realized that I had much more work to do on my basic math skills, and that I wasn't able to keep up with the expected pace of the program. To give you more background, I moved to the US when I was 18 and have not taken any math classes since then (I passed my math test on the entrance exam to the US college + transferred my credits and never had to worry about it until now). I resumed studying when I scheduled my test (to avoid procrastination) 3 months before the test. In 3 months I went from lower 500s to lower 600s while using Veritas online study material.
- I will admit I could have studied harder. Late nights at the office, keeping up with the household chores made it a little more challenging to focus on studying. I studied every other weekday and 5-6 hours each weekend day, but in the last week before the exam I realized that I still had a lot that I could polish.
- My weakest part is Quant, particularly Data Sufficiency and lengthy text problems as I struggle to hold on to the flow of the problem. I could definitely improve my verbal score as well though, since it received little to no attention during my studying. I am a non-native English speaker, though I have lived in the US for the last 10 years, so I am pretty well versed in English, but I do have a problem reading certain content as I loose my attention pretty quickly.
- Additional background: I graduated from a good public school with GPA 3.65 while working full-time in hospitality industry to pay for the tuition and living expenses. I have about 3 years of industry work experience and whole bunch of years (and lost patience/gained wisdom) in hospitality. I intent to apply for a part-time MBA at Stern, Berkeley and Booth for Fall 2018, so I still have time.

Finally, my question: what would be the best strategy for me to study and re-take the test? I am hoping to continue studying for the next month and a half, to use that momentum, and retake the test at the end of July. What can you recommend? As much as I would love to have a personal tutor, I can't really afford to pay $250 per hour for multiple hours. Should I just continue solving DS and word problems online? Should I take one class with a tutor? Are there any other tests that can help me pre-determine the strategy for studying?

Would greatly appreciate your help!

Julia
A few suggestions:

1) Push yourself to be more consistent with your studying. (And, thankfully, being more consistent does not mean you have to spend more time studying.) There's good research indicating that short, frequent, intense sessions yield greater dividends than longer spaced out sessions.

2) Work to distill everything you review into a handful of concrete takeaways. Every time you do a set of quant questions, take 5 minutes to summarize some useful strategies that could be employed in the future. They can be as simple as reminders to pick simple numbers or to work with the answer choices.

3) Take regular practice tests and use the results to shape your study plan. After each test, review thoroughly. Jot down 3-4 strategic adjustments you can make before the next test. You may see that you need to become more proficient at, say, rate problems, percent change questions, and Sentence Correction questions involving misplaced modifiers. Drill away on those sections. (And do NOT take another exam until you've improved in any lagging areas.) Wash/rinse repeat

4) Veritas will let you re-take the class. Consider re-enrolling. I'm not suggesting that you attend every single session, but it might be helpful to come to classes covering content that's given you difficulty and bring some specific questions.

Keep us posted...

_________________
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor

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Post Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:48 pm
Hi Julia,

Since you mentioned that you took a GMAT Class LAST year, I have a few follow-up questions about your recent studies:

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

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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