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Study plan help - restarting studies

This topic has 3 expert replies and 0 member replies
PKGguy Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
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Posted:
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Study plan help - restarting studies

Post Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:07 am
Hey guys,

Starting up again on my GMAT prep! I originally began studying in January, but had to take a break after about a month of studying due to work and a few other obstacles.

To motivate myself, I have already registered for the test. July 8th is the day, giving me roughly 3 months to prep before sitting for the test. I've taken a full length CAT and scored a 590 and I'm targeting above 700 on test day.

I'm planning to stick to the Magoosh 3 month beginner plan combined with the OG. I'll also use the MGMAT guides as an additional resource when I need incremental practice. My only concern with this plan is that the first CAT isn't until the 5th week. Seems kind of late, but maybe not. Maybe mikemcgarry can chime in here. I'll adapt the plan for myself as I move forward and get a better feel for my strengths and weaknesses.

I've made this study log to track my progress. (disregard some of the weird numbers - they'll populate appropriately as I move forward with my studying)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

I'm open to any and all thoughts/questions/concerns regarding my study plan and study log.

Thanks!

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Post Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:36 am
Quote:
My only concern with this plan is that the first CAT isn't until the 5th week. Seems kind of late, but maybe not.
When to take CATS/how many CATS to take is far from an exact science. The CATs are useful insofar as they give you feedback on how well your strategies are working, and can provide insight into what adjustments might be beneficial, but there is no GMAT buddha who has the magic number of CATs you need to take. If you're three weeks into your studies, you feel you've cultivated some useful tools and want to see where you are, there's no harm in taking a CAT. And following the study plan you have now is also reasonable if it clicks with your sensibility. Ultimately, the goal is to take enough tests that 1) you've mastered the timing and strategy of the exam and 2) you've hit your goal score a couple of times.

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Post Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:44 pm
Hi PKGguy,

Assuming that you're going to studying consistently during this attempt at your studies, waiting another 5 weeks before taking another CAT is not a great idea. While you'll likely take CATs a bit more regularly later on (a FULL CAT every 1-2 weeks), you should probably plan your next CAT for about 3 weeks from now. There are several aspects to the GMAT that you can really only learn by taking FULL-LENGTH CATs (with the Essay and IR sections) in a realistic fashion that 'matches up' with what you'll face on Test Day.

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

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Post Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:18 am
Everyone should take a diagnostic CAT before they begin their studies, to get information on the feel of the test, and their strengths and weaknesses. You've done this already!

After that, students should take CATs under 1 of 2 circumstances:

1) If they've done enough work on content and strategy to expect a better score than the last time.

2) If they struggle with time management, and need the stamina / pacing practice.


In either case, you shouldn't ever be taking more than 1 CAT per week, and most people won't want to take more than 1 every 2 weeks.

At the beginning of your studies, you won't have covered enough of the content to see much of an improvement. After 3 weeks, you've only hit maybe 30% of the material, so you'll still be seeing a majority of questions that you don't know how to approach.

For a lot of people, taking CATs with increasing frequency makes sense. Take one after 5 weeks, then 4, then 3, then 2, then 1, then 1, then the real test.

Here's a typical 18-week plan:
week 1 - CAT 1
week 6 - CAT 2
week 10 - CAT 3
week 13 - CAT 4
week 15 - CAT 5
week 16 - CAT 6 (should be GMATPrep)
week 17 - CAT 7 (should be GMATPrep)
week 18 - real exam

Since you're aiming to take the test in about 12 weeks, your schedule might look like this:
week 1 - CAT 1
week 5 - CAT 2
week 8 - CAT 3
week 10 - CAT 4
week 11 - CAT 5 (should be GMATPrep)
week 12 - CAT 6 (should be GMATPrep)
week 13 - real exam

As David said, there's no precise rule. But you don't have to force yourself to take one every 2 weeks at the beginning, if you don't think you've learned enough yet to move your score up.

Good luck!

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