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How long do i study for the GMAT if i need to score 720+?

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nazlysaey Just gettin' started! Default Avatar
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How long do i study for the GMAT if i need to score 720+? Post Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:40 pm
I work Full time as an Assistant brand manager in PepsiCo, so it's very time consuming. My exam is in late July. Are 3 months enough for me to score 720+ on the test or should i reschedule?

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nazlysaey Just gettin' started! Default Avatar
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Post Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:58 am
An answer from experienced people who have already been there would be of great help...

Thank you in advance Smile

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Z_I Rising GMAT Star Default Avatar
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Post Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:42 am
3 months is more than enough IMO, if you plan well and study diligently. A lot depends though on your diagnostic test as you come to know the kind of work that you need to put in to reach 700+.

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Post Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:36 pm
nazlysaey wrote:
An answer from experienced people who have already been there would be of great help...

Thank you in advance Smile
3 months is enough time to go through a full GMAT prep programme. Whether it's enough to score 720 will depend on your discipline if following that programme, your abilities, and your form on test day.

I think the first step is to devise the said programme. Most important IMO is to have a plan of action that divides your preparation into individual topics. By doing so you will be able to track your progress with greater accuracy and determine how/where to invest your limited time to get the greatest return.

I divided my own study into 17 quant topics and 14 verbal topics. I've catalogued the techniques that worked as well as those that failed during my own GMAT Prep. I hope they give you a great starting point for planning yours. See my debrief at www.tinyurl.com/gmatpost

nazlysaey Just gettin' started! Default Avatar
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Post Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:31 am
thanks a lot Z_I and TedCornell Smile that was very helpful.

When i'm taking my first diagnostic test, do i keep track of the time?

How long do i need to spend on quant questions and on verbal questions (maximum number of minutes and seconds that i will hopfully bring down with practice in order to have extra time on the test)?

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Z_I Rising GMAT Star Default Avatar
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Post Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:57 pm
You can either take the first GMAT Prep from the software after reviewing the basics of Quant and Verbal or you can take the free Online MGMAT CAT.

You should aim to complete a Quant problem in 2 minutes and a Verbal problem in a little less than 2 minutes.

I suggest you taken the free MGMAT CAT and choose the option to time each section at 75 minutes (the time you get in actual GMAT). The analysis that you can do from the results are fantastic and give you a good idea of where you stand.

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Post Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:58 pm
Z_I wrote:
You should aim to complete a Quant problem in 2 minutes and a Verbal problem in a little less than 2 minutes.

My experience was that you should AVERAGE about 2 minutes per question. I found some take a lot of time while others you can whiz past. Unfortunately you don't have the option of skipping a long question and coming back to it. What this means is that if you come to a hard question, you have to decide whether spending 4 (possibly more) minutes on it is actually going to yield a correct answer. Don't waste time staring at question you are never going to get- just eliminate anything you can and guess. Then, don't be too hard on yourself. The CAT system is trying to assess your abilities so there are bound to be questions you don't know.

This is more true for the Math than the Verbal.

For the Verbal I found I always had extra time at the end. Essentially you pick the best answer- no time consuming calculations here. I personally did not use the noteboard very much, except for very difficult questions where I marked down which choices to eliminate. The Reading Comprehension questions I found took the longest. Obviously the first question of a set is going to take you longer because you have to read the whole passage. Subsequent questions will be easier, but you'll need time to find the relevant part of the passage.

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Post Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:52 am
I received a PM asking me to respond. Good advice up above.

The answer to your question is maybe. There's no way to know for sure, but most people take about 3-4 months to study for the exam. Part of whether you can hit a particular goal in a particular length of time will depend upon how far you are from that goal to start, how much work you do to get to your goal, and whether you do the right kind of quality work to get to your goal.

I agree with other posters above that the best thing to do first is take a practice test. You need to know what your starting score is to get a sense of how much time it might take to reach your goal.

I agree that GMATPrep is the best practice test out there, but I don't think it's the best *first* practice test to take. GMATPrep gives us no data beyond the correct and incorrect answers. The biggest value of a first practice test is the data on strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise, how do we know how to set up the most appropriate study schedule for our own needs?

So I would take a practice test from a prep company for the first one. Make sure that the test is adaptive and that the results will include: timing data (how much time you spend per question), answer explanations, and difficulty level data. Most companies let you take the first test for free, so just ask around and see what tests people like the best. (I won't comment on specific tests because I have an obvious bias, as an MGMAT representative!)

One other thing. 720 is a *very* high score. I know everyone wants a 700, so it doesn't seem like 720 is so high, but only a small percentage of people ever score 720+. That doesn't mean people shouldn't try to get such a score - you should try! - but recognize that, in doing so, you're setting a very difficult task for yourself, and not everyone achieves such a goal. In other words - reach for your goal but don't forget to be realistic about it. Smile

Good luck - let us know how it goes!

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 5:22 am
I am not sure how this topic made it back up to the top! Must be a ghost in the machine since it looks like the last reply was from 2009!

Anyway, I thought I should mention some things on this subject since it has been on my mind lately.

I am working with a tutoring student who has been studying for months. I would almost say years. He has done everything out there, Official Guides, Supplements, GMAT Preps, classes, books, etc.

And yet when we were working on a few example questions we found out that there are some very important strategies that were never shared with him throughout this entire process. Some simple things that make a huge difference in how you look at questions, in what you focus on, in how you make sure to catch any errors you might make, etc. It is almost as if all that studying was the equivalent of running on a treadmill.

A 720 is the 94th percentile. It is much harder to achieve than a 700 which is the 90th percentile. Getting a 720 is not about the length of time that you study! It is about HOW you study. It is about learning from every question, not only the ones you miss, but the ones you get correct as well. Ask yourself, "Why is the correct answer correct? and then ask, "Why do people miss this question?" "What is attractive about the wrong answers?" What helps to hide the right answer?" "How will I recognize this type of question in the future?" and so forth...

I feel like a student could be prepared for the GMAT by carefully doing just 100 questions of each type so long as the student learned everything there is to learn from each question.

So it is not a matter of the length of time spent, or the number of hours, or taking a practice test a day, it is the quality of the study.

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