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Got 580(47Q, 27V) in GMAT - My new strategy to reappear

This topic has 2 expert replies and 1 member reply

Got 580(47Q, 27V) in GMAT - My new strategy to reappear

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I started preparing for the test three months ago. I started studying from OG13 and Manhattan Set of guides (5th edition). I gave GMATPrep 3 times. My respective scores were 550, 630 and 660. My work used to take a lot of my time during the weekdays, so the only time I had for my GMAT preparation was on the weekends. I concentrated more on verbal since I thought Quant was relatively easier for me. But I still couldn't finish much of the material that I had. And then, I had a surgery a few days before the test and so I thoroughly messed up my test. Maybe I hurried into giving the test without much preparation.

Getting this score was too embarrassing for me as I had expected to score around 650. I was disappointed but I didn't lose hope. I have thought of a new strategy to study.

I have started studying Quant. And I study at least for an hour a day during the weekdays. I have bought Manhattan's Advanced Quant guide and Kaplan 800. Manhattan RC and CR guide didn't help me a lot previously. Powerscore CR bible helped me to understand the way I should approach a problem. So, I am planning to cover the chapters which I couldn't finish. Manhattan SC guide proved to be good as it increased my accuracy from 60% to 80%. So, I think it would be a good idea to go through it again. I have heard a lot about Aristotle SC Grail, the third edition. But I am not sure if I should get it. I am considering buying a Verbal Course from e-GMAT.

Please suggest if any changes must be done to this strategy. How many times should one give mock exams ideally? Do MGMAT test series help? Is it a good idea to but them too? I am planning to give GMAT in June 2013.

Thanks for reading.

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unnerved wrote:
I started preparing for the test three months ago. I started studying from OG13 and Manhattan Set of guides (5th edition). I gave GMATPrep 3 times. My respective scores were 550, 630 and 660. My work used to take a lot of my time during the weekdays, so the only time I had for my GMAT preparation was on the weekends. I concentrated more on verbal since I thought Quant was relatively easier for me. But I still couldn't finish much of the material that I had. And then, I had a surgery a few days before the test and so I thoroughly messed up my test. Maybe I hurried into giving the test without much preparation.

Getting this score was too embarrassing for me as I had expected to score around 650. I was disappointed but I didn't lose hope. I have thought of a new strategy to study.

I have started studying Quant. And I study at least for an hour a day during the weekdays. I have bought Manhattan's Advanced Quant guide and Kaplan 800. Manhattan RC and CR guide didn't help me a lot previously. Powerscore CR bible helped me to understand the way I should approach a problem. So, I am planning to cover the chapters which I couldn't finish. Manhattan SC guide proved to be good as it increased my accuracy from 60% to 80%. So, I think it would be a good idea to go through it again. I have heard a lot about Aristotle SC Grail, the third edition. But I am not sure if I should get it. I am considering buying a Verbal Course from e-GMAT.

Please suggest if any changes must be done to this strategy. How many times should one give mock exams ideally? Do MGMAT test series help? Is it a good idea to but them too? I am planning to give GMAT in June 2013.

Thanks for reading.
Unnerved:

Good questions -- I'll echo what's been a recurring themes of a lot of posts lately.... don't get caught up in a ton of different books from different sources. There's definitely a point of diminishing returns on reviewing multiple strategies from multiple vendors -- it can become information overload.

That said, I'll obviously have a bias towards the Manhattan GMAT books -- but there are other good books out there too.

Two big thoughts though...

First -- I think it's critical... actually CRITICAL... for you to get a really good study plan in place. Step 1 is realizing you can't study this material just two days a week -- so you are making progress, but you need a real plan. I'd encourage you to take a look at my friend Stacey's two links below that help you really think about how to put a plan together.

http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index.php/2012/08/28/developing-a-gmat-study-plan-part-1/
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index.php/2012/08/29/developing-a-gmat-study-plan-part-2/

Second -- With all of your practice tests under your belt, you have a wealth of data that can help guide your study, where to focus, where not to focus, etc. Check out this link for some tips and tricks there.

http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index.php/2011/05/23/evaluating-your-practice-tests/

Hope this helps!

Good luck.

-Brian

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Hi Brian,

Those blog posts were really helpful. I understand planning is very important and I have to find time to study in my schedule. Also, "Evaluating the tests" gave me a new perspective to look at the test solutions. I am sure this time will be better.

Thanks a lot.

Regards,
Unnerved

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Remember, studying is about quality, not quantity. The amount of time you spend and the number of guides you read are way less important than the thoughtfulness you put into studying.

So, for your question about how many practice tests to take, I'd say this - not as many as you'd probably think. Unless you really struggle with timing and need practice tests to work on that skill, you probably only need to take about 3-5 practice tests between now and June. Think of it like this - you should only be taking practice tests when you think that you've learned / grown enough to increase your score from the last practice test. If you're taking a million tests in a row, you have no reason to think that you'd do any better on the next one than you did on the previous.

The value that you get out of practice tests is not in the taking, it's in the reviewing. So make sure that whenever you've taken a practice test, you spend at least as much time reviewing the test as you spent taking the test. Review every question thoughtfully (right or wrong).

Also, make sure that you're not just reading strategy guides, but also practicing those skills with real OG questions. For every topic you learn, go practice a bunch of OG questions related to that topic. That's the best way to gain a sense of what the test is like.

Good luck!

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EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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