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Retake study plan for 5th attempt...Experts Pls help

This topic has 2 expert replies and 2 member replies

Retake study plan for 5th attempt...Experts Pls help

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Summary of my 4 attempts
1st attempt was in 2003 without much studying, I scored 470 (can't recall the break up)
2nd attempt was in 2009 with more studying(but very inconsistent), I scored 440 (I scored better in verbal than Quant. but still both low scores)
3rd attempt was in May 2012, studied everyday from Dec. 2011 to May 2012 (was unemployed at the time) and scored 530 (Q 27, V 35)
For my 4th attempt, I studied continuously (everyday) from Sep. until date of the exam which was this past Jan. 19th and focused a lot on Quant. (got help from a tutor), I went into the exam with a headache and without taking any medicine before the exam; I could not really focus well in Verbal. I scored 490 (Q 32, V 25). I knew I was doing bad in Quant. when I found my self left with 5 minutes and 11 questions to answer. However for verbal, I did not expect the very low score.

My background:
I am 35 years old, non native speaker and I am applying to a few master of international business programs in the US and Canada. My objective is to score in the 600-650 range. I have scored between 570 and 640 in the last 3 CAT GMAT tests that I used to practice before my last exam. To prepare for the exam, I have used OG 12TH, verbal review and quantitative review guides, MGMAT books and CAT tests, GMAT Prep and Magoosh GMAT.

Here are what I think are my problems:
I have a real timing problem in Quant. because I am slow in mathematics and can not keep a good pace. I was never able to finish a Quant. section in time. The error that I think I was making is whenever I practiced Quant. problems, I would do most of the time one problem at a time and check the answer right after each problem and go over what I did wrong and note things that I should do differently in the future. I never did 15 or 20 quantitative problems in a row except when I took the MGMAT CAT tests. I will start doing at least 15 or 20 problems consecutively when I start studying again.
For Verbal, I usually do better in SC than in CR and RC. I am weak in CR and re-reviewing CR books and practicing does not seem to improve my score so I am not really sure what else to do.

My Plan:
Study 2 or 3 hours everyday (more on Saturdays) for 4 or 5 weeks and retake the GMAT. I think I should give equal time to both Quant. and Verbal. In Quant., I will focus more on the subjects that are common in the GMAT and in which I am either very slow at solving or solve incorrectly the majority of the time. In Verbal, I am not really sure what to do.

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!

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hraisha wrote:
Summary of my 4 attempts
1st attempt was in 2003 without much studying, I scored 470 (can't recall the break up)
2nd attempt was in 2009 with more studying(but very inconsistent), I scored 440 (I scored better in verbal than Quant. but still both low scores)
3rd attempt was in May 2012, studied everyday from Dec. 2011 to May 2012 (was unemployed at the time) and scored 530 (Q 27, V 35)
For my 4th attempt, I studied continuously (everyday) from Sep. until date of the exam which was this past Jan. 19th and focused a lot on Quant. (got help from a tutor), I went into the exam with a headache and without taking any medicine before the exam; I could not really focus well in Verbal. I scored 490 (Q 32, V 25). I knew I was doing bad in Quant. when I found my self left with 5 minutes and 11 questions to answer. However for verbal, I did not expect the very low score.

My background:
I am 35 years old, non native speaker and I am applying to a few master of international business programs in the US and Canada. My objective is to score in the 600-650 range. I have scored between 570 and 640 in the last 3 CAT GMAT tests that I used to practice before my last exam. To prepare for the exam, I have used OG 12TH, verbal review and quantitative review guides, MGMAT books and CAT tests, GMAT Prep and Magoosh GMAT.

Here are what I think are my problems:
I have a real timing problem in Quant. because I am slow in mathematics and can not keep a good pace. I was never able to finish a Quant. section in time. The error that I think I was making is whenever I practiced Quant. problems, I would do most of the time one problem at a time and check the answer right after each problem and go over what I did wrong and note things that I should do differently in the future. I never did 15 or 20 quantitative problems in a row except when I took the MGMAT CAT tests. I will start doing at least 15 or 20 problems consecutively when I start studying again.
For Verbal, I usually do better in SC than in CR and RC. I am weak in CR and re-reviewing CR books and practicing does not seem to improve my score so I am not really sure what else to do.

My Plan:
Study 2 or 3 hours everyday (more on Saturdays) for 4 or 5 weeks and retake the GMAT. I think I should give equal time to both Quant. and Verbal. In Quant., I will focus more on the subjects that are common in the GMAT and in which I am either very slow at solving or solve incorrectly the majority of the time. In Verbal, I am not really sure what to do.

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!
Thanks for all the detailed info -- you've had quite the journey. I want to share a few links with you -- based on two main themes. Despite your decade+ of experience on the GMAT, it just seems like you need a full on assessment/study plan. Stacey's links here may help:

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/

Beyond that, you should have a WEALTH of data available to help you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Use that data to help inform your study plan. This link might help with that:

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

Let me know what you think and good luck!!

-Brian

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Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Thanks Brian for your suggestions! I have already read all of Stacey's articles that you indicated but I'll review them again.

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I think part of your problem may be the fact that you're focusing on quantity rather than quality in your studying. It's not necessary - and perhaps not even beneficial - to study for hours a day, months on end. What you need is to shake up your process!

If you say that timing is consistently your problem, how have you tried to remedy that? Here are some things you should be doing:

- time yourself for every OG problem! Force yourself to pull the trigger and guess at the 2:00 mark

- Stop and check in with yourself at the 1:00 or 1:30 mark. Do you think you'll get there in another minute? If not, look for a guessing strategy at that point.

- Do a few practice sets without pen and paper! Force yourself to guess strategically without being able to solve "correctly." This can help you to avoid doing some of the computation that you say you struggle with. Build those strategic guessing muscles!

- Definitely do sets of 15-20 or even 30 questions in a row without stopping to look at the answers! Any time you're practicing, you should be treating it like the real test.

- Keep track of what you're getting wrong and why. Check out this article for more: http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index.php/2013/01/18/the-worst-mistake-you-can-make-in-gmat-studying/

Good luck!

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Harvard Graduate School of Education


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Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Thanks a lot Ceilidh for your reply!
My initial strategy was to do a lot of problems in order to improve in quant. but I realized later on that it was not working especially that I was not re-doing problems that I got wrong. What I started doing afterwards is to not focus on quantity but rather on quality and redo all the problems that I got wrong or took me more than 2 minutes. I have used MGMAT OG Archer for all the OG problems that I did and forced myself to guess after the 2:30 mark.
I will definitely follow your tips!

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