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Question about preparation

This topic has 1 expert reply and 1 member reply

GMAT/MBA Expert

Question about preparation

Post Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:59 pm
I received the following e-mail recently:

Quote:
Hey Eric,

I have read your blog a million times (obvious exaggeration), but your points are very informative. Also, I find your humor to be very entertaining....it's obvious that you could have worked for a mag. Anyhow, I have already mapped out my strategy in order to get into a good grad school. However, just like a stack of dominoes, I need to ace the gmat in order for the rest to even have a chance of falling into place. I have done the Kaplan GRE/GMAT refresher book and must say that it really helped me a lot especially on Aritmetic, Word Problems and Geometry....I think for the average studier, you're underestimating how good it is. I have done the first 7 chapters in the Kaplan book, which leads me to the DS stuff (which I haven't even begun tackling yet). I like your study plan a lot and have borrowed from it quite a bit. However, I am no where near where you were at that point, I try to tell myself that maybe it's because I didn't read the Princeton book (because it's highly recommended that it's a waste of time -- and after reading 5 chapters myself at the local bookstore, I thought the same thing of it). I got more than my share of CR, SC and RC questions wrong -- I'd say I got about 65-70% right which is completely ridiculous. The Word problems, I faired a little better with about a 44/50 due to the refresher book. I'm making flash cards for math, but haven't yet started for verbal. I'm skipping the Delta course, and haven't even taken a Kaplan CAT yet...hopefully by next weekend. What and where do you think are my next steps?

Thanks so much,

Adrian
Hi Adrian:

First of all, thanks very much for reading my blog! I'm glad you found my posts useful for your studies.

If I understand your e-mail correctly, it sounds like you have only done the Kaplan book so far. My advice to you is to not take your Kaplan performance too seriously. In my experience, I've found Kaplan books to be more difficult than actual GMAT problems as well as poorly written. It's still worth going through this text because the problems are challenging--but you shouldn't take your results too seriously. Try instead to focus on figuring out concepts and question patterns that you consistently get correct and consistently get wrong. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is crucial--the earlier you can do this in your test prep, the better you can strategize your time.

Really try to get specific about your weaknesses. For example, you might note that you consistently get Idiom questions wrong on SC. Continually work those problems over and over and make sure you understand the concepts/question patterns thoroughly. Also, since in this example SC would be a weakness, plan to devote more time tackling this subject.

When you get to the OG book, start paying more attention to your hit rate. Since OG draws all of its questions from retired GMAT questions, this book is a better indicator of what your actual GMAT performance will be.

But with regards to Kaplan especially, don't fret too much about your hite rate. Just focus on what you can learn about the test and yourself.

All the best, homie.

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Sorin Istrate - Community Manager

MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Top Reply
Post Tue May 09, 2006 1:00 pm
Hi Wariour1:

Don't feel bad about your Kaplan performance! I know this is kinda hard to believe, but trust me--I've been in your shoes: Don't take your Kaplan performance too seriously! These questions are in general poorly written and much harder than what you will actually encounter on the real GMAT.

Good for you for emphasizing OG. I think going through OG multiple times is an excellent idea. Try to pick up on question patterns. With enough practice, you will start to see the same question types tested over and over again...

I like your methodology for going through OG. I think that it is fine to go through the book section by section. I especially like your tactic of reviewing 10 questions in the older sections you've covered as well. This is a good strategy for stay fresh on all the material.

My advice to you is to keep a grid of your errors and be rigorous in determining which questions you are getting consistently wrong and consistently right. Being able to pick up on your strengths and weaknesses will aid you greatly in preparing for the GMAT--you can then taylor your studies around the areas you need to improve.

Keep on practicing! Make sure you do a lot of practice problems and timed practice tests, and you'll be on your way.

Don't hesitate to use this community to aid your studies. Best of luck!

_________________
Sorin Istrate - Community Manager

MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

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Wariour1 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
25 Apr 2006
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Post Tue May 09, 2006 8:43 am
Hey Eric,

Thanks for the advice. I finished up the Kaplan book with nowhere near a hit rate like yours. My DS was atrocious (if I spelt that right). I had a hit rate around 40%. Just terrible. I have however changed my study plan a little, where I took your advice from another the post with you saying that the OG can be studied with practice tests to achieve a good score. I am currently planning to do all the OG questions twice. However, do you think that I should do them in order: like 250 for PS, then whatever it is for SC, and so on. I was planning to do that and do 10 questions of each section that I previously reviewed a day after I put in time on another section that I'm currently reviewing. So far I did the first 30 OG questions in PS and got 28 right. What do you think am I missing?

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