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Planning for GMAT in 2016

This topic has 3 expert replies and 2 member replies
rahulzlpr Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Planning for GMAT in 2016

Post Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:56 pm
I am a full time working professional with 3 years of experience as a business analyst with already a masters degree behind me. Still I need to give my career a big boost and broaden my horizons so I am planning to appear for GMAT next year 2016 most probably in June end. I want to score high to get into one of the top B schools. I will be starting my preparation in Jan-Feb 2016. Now after going through a lot of these forums I am thinking of using Manhattan strategy guides (10 books pack) and the Official guide review for my preparation. I will be adopting a self study approach since I am more comfortable with that apart from the fact that it will be hard for me to enrol in a full time course given my professional commitments. Kindly give your feedback on the above (including the study material) and emphasise more on how to use this study material effectively to get the maximum results I.e. Targeting a score around 750

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Post Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:41 pm
I'd incorporate a bit more official material. First, make sure the two free tests from mba.com are part of your study regimen: http://www.mba.com/us/the-gmat-exam/prepare-for-the-gmat-exam/test-prep-materials/free-gmat-prep-software.aspx

And I'd also consider getting the Exam Pack: http://www.mba.com/us/store/store-catalog/gmat-preparation/gmatprep-exam-pack-1.aspx?CID=7530AF9B-E67D-40D1-844B-7C369574791C

Shoot for about one test per week. Make sure you thoroughly dissect each test after you take it. Jot down a short list of concrete strategic adjustments you can make before taking the next test. Do drills to address any weak areas. Any questions that aren't 100% clear, post here. Wash/rinse/repeat until you're seeing scores on your practice exams that are within range of your goal score.

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rahulzlpr Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:24 pm
Hi David

By official material do you mean verbal and Quant review books?? I have heard that they do not consist of standard questions which can help you to achieve high score i.e. they are a bit on the easier side. Also with so much material at my disposal how can I get through all of them in a span of 3 months. Probably i would risk skimming through the material in order to just get through without actually learning from them since finishing the manhattan guides (8 of them) would in itself take up a lot of time if done thoroughly and combined with the main OG book. Also doing 1 test per week without even completing the material would not reflect true results since it will take atleast 2 months to go through the material and last month to be kept for testing. I will also be using resources from gmat club and beat the gmat like some practice materials. Kindly provide your feedback on this.

Post Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:42 am
Quote:
By official material do you mean verbal and Quant review books??
I should have been clearer here. I just meant that you want to make sure you're doing the official practice exams as part of your study regimen. The quant and verbal review books are a bit outdated, so if you were to need additional practice problems, the Question Pack from mba.com would be a better resource:http://www.mba.com/us/store/store-catalog/gmat-preparation/gmatprep-question-pack-1.aspx

Philosophically, I agree that quality is better than quantity. Given the choice between thoroughly dissecting the Official Guide questions, and feeling as though you're haphazardly making your way through too much material, the former is clearly preferable. My advice for now: start working with the material you have, and you can revisit the question of whether the Question Pack would be beneficial at some point down the road.

Quote:
Also doing 1 test per week without even completing the material would not reflect true results since it will take atleast 2 months to go through the material and last month to be kept for testing.
True enough, but the purpose of the practice tests isn't really to derive "true results." (At least not until the last couple of tests when you'd like to see that you're within striking range of your goal score.) The purpose is to master the timing/format/strategy of the exam. For most test-takers, this takes some time. What you'll find is that the GMAT isn't really a content-test, per se, but rather, a test that requires a good deal of creative and fluid thinking under pressure. Many questions will require no math knowledge at all. Like any skill, it will improve with practice. But everyone's different. There's no magic number for how many practice exams you should take. I would say that for the majority of test-takers, it's a good idea to take an early practice test to get a benchmark. (Your study plan, if that first test is 720, will be drastically different than if that first test is 540.) And then, at some point, you want to be taking tests with some consistency to master the strategies and timing, while giving yourself adequate time to thoroughly dissect the last test you've taken. On average, in my experience, that comes to about a test a week, but I've seen extremes on both ends. I do however, think it's reasonable to give yourself a little foundation-building time before you start regularly taking practice exams. Whether that means starting in one week or 3-4 weeks is up to you.

Most importantly, know that you can always make adjustments. It's possible that you'll work through your guides, whip through the OG, take a handful of practice tests and that you have time to spare. And it's possible that you'll hit some roadblocks along the way, and you'll want to take a few more practice tests and work in some additional material. There are many paths...

Keep us posted.

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rahulzlpr Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Posted:
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Post Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:11 pm
Hi David,

Thanks for the feedback. As we were discussing about the study approach for GMAT viz a viz online course or books. I came across the Magoosh online course which as of now is only for $99 covering the entire gmat course however the same is much more expensive as offered by other test prep companies (anywhere between $800 to $1000). This will also be cheaper than the entire Manhattan study guide set in print which can cost around $250. Also GMATPREP is offering the online course for free. Now clearly magoosh and gmatprep online courses are the best deals out of all the other online programs. Since the Manhattan guides are well recommended all over what would you suggest would be the best approach to score high (750)?

Post Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:11 am
My feeling, when it comes to resources, is that you want to use whatever feels most comfortable to you and most compatible with your learning style. Most companies offer a free trial period. (And you can always go to a book store and quickly flip through any book before purchasing.) Take advantage of the free trial period and see what works for you.

But the one big missing piece of info for me is where you're starting from. Have you taken a diagnostic practice test yet? (And you should feel free to PM this info too.) Because the truth is, the closer you are to your target score, the more streamlined the study process becomes.

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