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Getting Started

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Getting Started

Post Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:17 pm
I am interested in starting a 3-6 months study plan
for the GMAT.

I work in a school for at-risk students;
so I want to sit the test between
July 15 - August 15.

I was hoping to work on content and application
of content (January 15 - April 15). Then, work
on building stamina and endurance through drills
and practice tests (April 20 - June 30).

Then, I want to focus on preparing for test day through
taking weekly practice tests (July1-August 15).

Do you have any thoughts regarding my proposed plan?

Please advise.

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Top Reply
Post Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:32 pm
Dear Marty,

I really love your perspective to error analysis, especially your point
about focusing on what caused me to get 650 rather than 800.

Looking at the errors in terms of categories is going to be quite useful
as I move into my first week of prep.

Can't wait to put my first set of errors into their respective categories
so that I can identify patterns and address them appropriately.

Thank you!

Donna

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Post Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:24 pm
Dear Rich,

10 hours weekly is possible.
I see your point about consistency being
a key factor in preparation.

I took two practice tests:

Quant Verbal. Overall
42. 31. 600
43. 38. 650

Thanks for your suggestions -Smile

Donna

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Post Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:32 pm
Dear Marty,

I really love your perspective to error analysis, especially your point
about focusing on what caused me to get 650 rather than 800.

Looking at the errors in terms of categories is going to be quite useful
as I move into my first week of prep.

Can't wait to put my first set of errors into their respective categories
so that I can identify patterns and address them appropriately.

Thank you!

Donna

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Post Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:24 pm
Dear Rich,

10 hours weekly is possible.
I see your point about consistency being
a key factor in preparation.

I took two practice tests:

Quant Verbal. Overall
42. 31. 600
43. 38. 650

Thanks for your suggestions -Smile

Donna

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Post Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:52 am
Hi Donna,

A CAT result is only as realistic as YOU make the CAT-taking experience. Thus, YOU have to take the CAT in a realistic and test-like fashion, including taking the ENTIRE CAT (with the Essay and IR sections), at the same time of day as your Official GMAT, away from your home, in a test-like environment and NOT do anything unrealistic (pausing the CAT, listening to music, skipping sections, etc.).

From your last post, there were clearly several aspects to how you took these CATs that did NOT 'match up' with what you'll face on Test Day. As such, these scores are not completely accurate (they're likely 'inflated').

Given the limits on your available study time, investing in a Guided Self-Study Course that allows you to work at your own pace would likely help you a great deal.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Post Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:32 am
Dear Rich,

Here a are my answers to your questions:

1. No
2. No
3. No
4. Yes
5. No

How do I develop a testing and study plan that mirrors
test day since it is predictable?

Please advise.

Donna

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Post Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:34 am
Hi Donna,

Both of these CAT scores are solid performances, but you still have plenty of work to do to hit your score goal. Test Day is a predictable 'event', so it's important to make sure that your CATs mirror Test Day in as many ways as is reasonably possible. To that end...

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Top Member

Marty Murray Legendary Member
Joined
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Posted:
2050 messages
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129 members
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Post Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:21 pm
Cool beans Donna.

Here are some posts that you could use to get some more ideas for your prep. I think that you will notice some key themes.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/rocked-the-gmat-scored-800-q51-v51-via-meditation-t282365.html

Most of what I said in this one applies to SC and RC too. GMAT verbal is a test of what? Vision, attention to detail, and, for SC especially, hacking skills. Be a GMAT verbal hacker!

http://www.beatthegmat.com/how-to-better-gmat-critical-reasoning-cr-skills-t288571.html#763603

http://www.beatthegmat.com/how-to-improve-quant-to-top-q50-or-so-t288525.html#763452

Enjoy the game!!!

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

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
Joined
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Posted:
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Post Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:37 am
dfletch5@icloud.com wrote:
I have another question for you.
How should I use the error log
when reviewing practice tests?
For each missed question record in the error log various things such question type and reasons you missed it, reasons such as gap in content understanding, careless error, process flaw, trap answer or lack of time/guess.

Then you can look over those notes to figure out what you can do to score higher. Awareness of patterns is so valuable.

A gap in content understanding is addressed one way, silly errors and process flaws in other ways.

Put it this way. Say you were to score 650 on a practice test. In a sense, by addressing whatever caused you to score 650 rather than 800, you can drive your score closer to 800.

Of course, the more questions you get right, the harder the questions you see will be. Still, basically the addressing why questions were missed concept works.

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

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Post Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:44 am
Hi Donna,

One of the important aspects of any Study Plan is consistency - you need a routine that you can stick with. Test Takers who study 'when they can' often find it difficultly to properly learn and master the necessary content, Tactics and psychology needed to score at a high level. To help you set your expectations for the coming months, you should expect to study 10-15 hours per week (or more) on average.

Since you have studied before, have you ever taken a FULL-LENGTH CAT or the Official GMAT? If you have, then what were your scores (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Post Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:03 pm
Dear Rich,

I have done some studying, on and off,
but consistency is my Achilles' Heel.

Presently, I can devote 3 evenings per week
for a maximum of 60-75 mins daily. I will be able to
have longer sessions during the holidays and when
I'm off from work.

What do you think?

Best,
Donna

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Post Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:48 pm
Dear Marty,

I like your idea of "playing the game."
I love your approach to practice tests.
I need to consider what types of questions do I need to keep hitting
out of the ballpark to get my ideal score
I totally see your point about having access to
high- quality practice tests as well.

I have another question for you.
How should I use the error log
when reviewing practice tests?

Best,
Donna

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Post Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:53 pm
Hi Donna,

You've given yourself LOTS of time to work on this whole process, which is good. You've also listed some competitive programs, so it's important that you make sure to have a high GMAT scores AND a strong OVERALL application.

Given your score goal, you would likely find a GMAT Course of some type (either Guided Self-Study or instructor-led) to be quite helpful.

1) Have you done any studying for the GMAT yet (even if you've just worked through some practice questions or flipped through some books)?
2) How many hours do you think you can consistently put towards your studies during a typical week?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Top Member

Marty Murray Legendary Member
Joined
03 Feb 2014
Posted:
2050 messages
Followed by:
129 members
Upvotes:
955
GMAT Score:
800
Most Responsive Member
Post Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:17 pm
dfletch5@icloud.com wrote:
I am interested in starting a 3-6 months study plan
for the GMAT.

I was hoping to work on content and application
of content (January 15 - April 15). Then, work
on building stamina and endurance through drills
and practice tests (April 20 - June 30).

Do you have any thoughts regarding my proposed plan?
Hi Donna.

Here's the biggest thing jumping out at me.

While the length of time you have given yourself sounds about right given your goals, and in general your plan sounds OK, the thing about the GMAT that maybe you are not seeing as clearly as you might is that rocking the GMAT is much less about having a handle on content than it is about being good at playing the GMAT game. In fact, in the verbal section, playing the game is maybe more than 90% of what it takes to score high, and in quant, while you need to understand more content than what you need to learn about for verbal, being good at playing the game is still key.

So as a practical matter probably you would be best off playing the game, by taking practice tests, earlier and more regularly than what you have outlined in your plan.

Practice tests give you practice, yup, and also their results provide huge amounts of information on what you have to do in order to hit your score goal. For one thing, you can go over them to see what types of questions you needed to get right more often or more quickly in order to hit your score goal. Then you can do focused work on those question types.

In order to have enough practice tests, you may want to supplement the four official tests with high quality practice tests from Manhattan Prep or Veritas or both.

Also, be clear about this. The GMAT tests skill in getting to RIGHT answers, in whatever way possible, and understanding of content does not equal right answers. So, paramount in GMAT preparation is a focus on getting good at quickly and accurately assessing situations and coming up with ways to get to right answers.

From what you said, it sounds as if you are psyched to play the GMAT game. Have fun doing it, and may you attain or exceed your goal.

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

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