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Possible to score a 720+ in 6 weeks of full-time study?

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Taking the summer off following the completion of my degree and prior to beginning full-time work as a consultant at a reputable firm. I don't think I'll have significant time to study once I begin work, and was planning to complete my GMAT this summer. I've signed up for a course and my diagnostic test was 560. However, I went into this test completely unaware of the test's structure, format, and question types.

I'm looking to take the test in approximately 6-8 weeks, and I am targetting a 720+. I have the OG guide, a Manhattan Prep membership, and all of my course materials, as well as no major commitments for the remainder of the summer (besides one 4 day trip at the beginning of August). Furthermore, I'm planning to commit approximately 35-40 hours/week towards studying and have one day dedicated to my GMAT course every week.


Is this target score realistic given my starting point, availability, and resources?
Do you have any recommendations for any other resources I should think about employing in my studies?
Do you have any tips, tricks, or strategies that can help make my studying a more efficient and effective process?


Thanks in advance.

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:29 am
Hi dawncheadle,

To start, a 560 is a solid initial CAT Score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years). That having been said, many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so there might be an issue with the total improvement that you could potentially achieve in just 6-8 weeks. In addition, based on what you've described, you'll be studying so much that you will increase your chances of 'burn out' before Test Day. No one here knows you well enough to know what YOU are truly capable of - and it's understandable why you would want to try to get all of this done in a relatively short period of time - but you're interested in a Score that 90% of Test Takers can't achieve (and trying to 'cram' all of your studies into just 6-8 weeks doesn't help).

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you're looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) When do you begin working?
2) When are you planning to take the GMAT? Are you leaving yourself enough 'room' to take the GMAT twice?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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reply

by dawncheadle » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:45 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:Hi dawncheadle,

To start, a 560 is a solid initial CAT Score (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years). That having been said, many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so there might be an issue with the total improvement that you could potentially achieve in just 6-8 weeks. In addition, based on what you've described, you'll be studying so much that you will increase your chances of 'burn out' before Test Day. No one here knows you well enough to know what YOU are truly capable of - and it's understandable why you would want to try to get all of this done in a relatively short period of time - but you're interested in a Score that 90% of Test Takers can't achieve (and trying to 'cram' all of your studies into just 6-8 weeks doesn't help).

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you're looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) When do you begin working?
2) When are you planning to take the GMAT? Are you leaving yourself enough 'room' to take the GMAT twice?

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

I begin full-time work in the first week of September. I'm currently planning on a late August test date (last 10 days of the month). If I were to take a second GMAT in response to a lower-than-desired score, it would be at the end of September (after I acclimatize to my work).

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:27 pm
Hi dawncheadle,

You seem prepared for the possibility that you might need more study time that you've currently planned for, so we can proceed with the idea that you would have about 2 months of study time (although you might need more than that).

If you're already enrolled in a Course, then you should proceed with that schedule. Once you have your next CAT Score, you should post back and we discuss the results.

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

by Scott@TargetTestPrep » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:25 am
I'm glad you reached out and I'm happy to help!

Regarding your first question, increasing your GMAT score from 560 to 720 is certainly a tall order and will be quite challenging to achieve in just two months. With that said, you really do not have anything to lose by giving it a shot. However, keep in mind that if you do not hit your score goal, you will have to continue prepping for the GMAT after you begin your job.

Regarding your prep materials, you certainly could give those a shot. Some students find that prep books fit their learning needs and "study style" well. The important thing is to objectively evaluate your progress so that, in the event that the prep books aren't meeting your needs, you don't end up overinvesting time in a resource that isn't working for you. If after 2 to 3 weeks you find that you are not making the improvement you need, you should perhaps think about changing up your study routine. Certainly that change would not have to be anything drastic, but you may consider using a self-study course. Self-study courses typically provide detailed study plans and have granular analytics, so you can easily track your progress as you move through the course. The ability to track your progress will keep you more engaged, and you'll be able to more accurately forecast when you're ready to take your real GMAT.

If you decide to go that route, Beat the GMAT has reviews of the best courses for GMAT prep.

If you have any further questions, please reach out.

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO
scott@targettestprep.com

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