I've been perusing this site for a few weeks now and have gotten some very good advice. Here is a little about me: I am currently active duty Air Force and I will be getting out in Feb 2013 with almost 12 years of service under my belt. After I separate, I plan to do almost nothing but study for the GMAT, while also preparing my B-school application.
Personal assessment: I am very, very, very weak in math. I will have to work to the bone to increase my math skills, composure and confidence, and test-taking ability on the quant portion. I am confident in my verbal skills, yet I am a very poor standardized test taker. After my initial GMATPrep test, I see that being very comfortable with English doesn't translate to great test scores. I have a loooong way to go.
After about a month of research, here is my plan (in this order):
1: Study GMATPrep Math Review twice (Dec 2012)
2. First GMATPrep test ever (Dec 2012)
3. Read/study/review PR Cracking the New GMAT (Dec 2012-Jan 2013)
4. Read/study/review OG 13th, Quant OG 2nd ed, Verbal OG 2nd ed (Jan-May 2013), continuing this as I study the MGMAT books
5. Read/study/review all 10 basic MGMAT books and exercises, as well as the Advanced Quant MGMAT book, which makes 11 books altogether (Feb-Mar 2013)
6. GMATPrep test or MGMAT test(s) to see progress (Mar 2013)
7. Read/study/review OG 12th and review 13th again if not finished (Mar-May 2013)
8. GMATPrep test or MGMAT test(s) to see progress...Sign up to take the GMAT in the beginning of May
9. Redo OGs (12th and 13th ed and Quant and Verb 2nd ed) until I've mastered them
10. Take a CATs once per week under timed conditions from numerous sources (Kaplan Premier, MGMAT and GMATPrep CATs)
11. Take any test I can find in thematic sets (GMATPrep paper tests, BTG tests, anything else???)
12. Take the GMAT in early or late May before trip to Europe...if under 700, assess and attack again two months after Euro-trip
Here is what I've actually done (I'm updating this as time goes by with reviews of the materials I'm using)
1. GMATPrep Math Review...studied only this from 1-15 Dec 2012...this was a good way to get my math bearings.
2. GMATPrep CAT 1...15 Dec 2013...total 540, Q31, V33...like I said, I have a LOOOONG way to go.
3. PR Cracking the New GMAT Book...studied this from 15 Dec 2012 to 10 Jan 2013...I read all of the text (reviewed my highlights about 3-4 times) and did all of the math and verbal bins 2 times. This book helped a lot with my guessing strategy, and it gave me some good strategies to work through some of the simpler math and verbal problems. I still have a long way to go, but PR was a good place to start. However, this book is definitely not sufficient for a GMAT wanna-be at my level (mid-500s) to get a 700+.
4. Starting to study the OG 13th edition (started 10 Jan) since I'm deployed and all of my MGMAT books are at home in the United States...I took the quant diagnostic and got 16 of 24 correct on the problem solving section (above average) and 14 of 24 correct on the data sufficiency section (average). I still have a long way to go, but I see progress, which I attribute to the PR Cracking the GMAT book. Did the first 199 13th ed PS problems (1-100 twice and 101-199 once) and DS problems (1-100 twice and 101-174 once)
5a. Started MGMAT Books. Roadmap (book 0...20 Jan to 27 Jan) was a good source of motivation (took me 1 week to read). I underlined everything I wanted to return to and review.
5b. Started FDP book (book 1...12 Feb 2013 to...)
6. MGMAT CAT 1...13 Feb 2013...total 600, Q42, V32...SEEING RESULTS!! Great increase in quant, though I thought I did horribly on this portion. I also thought I was doing ok in verbal after the first 10 questions, but maybe those first 10 hurt me more than I had anticipated. I'll post more on this after I review everything.
Does anyone have any input on my plan or progression? You all are much more advanced than I am, but I have two things that I hope will help me: time and motivation. I will continue to update this post as I meet my deadlines/goals.
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My GMAT Plan & Progress Journal...540/600/
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