Studying smart for final 14 days?

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Studying smart for final 14 days?

by tim415 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:00 pm
Anybody have pointers to resources/links/advice on studying smart for final 14 days before the exam?

In my case, I completed Veritas online course, worked through almost all of the problems in the books, and have been doing 1 practice exam/week for some time now.

I hit a plateau about a month ago, and I've been struggling to get past the 650 range. My score bounces up and down. It's been frustrating to think I'm following a solid plan and to not get encouraging results.

Here are my current study situation and tactics. All material is Veritas, GMAT prep, and I've taken one MGMAT practice exam:
  • * Focus on error log - I log all problems which give me trouble and working through and analyzing all problems for 2nd or 3rd time. This is a decent size list of 100+ questions so it keeps me quite occupied.

    * Practice exams and review - At this point I take 1 practice exam a week and review in depth every question that I got wrong or spent a good amount of time on. Troublesome questions go into my error log for 2nd and 3rd review later. I take notes on timing performance to try and build good habits there.

    * Expert review of challenge questions for me - I'll check the forums for smart solutions to problems I come upon, and I regularly check with Veritas instructors to get their perspective in solving problems. The idea is to learn new approaches and to emulate the reasoning of experts.
In the last week I re-visited one specific weak area for me (Arithmetic) and overhauled my timing approach.. and I was able to break 710 on my most recent GMATprep exam. Considering my prior practice exam was a 630, I'm not in celebratory mode quite yet.

I'm thinking of continued focus on 1-2 weak topics via error log, exam review, and timing practice, and to forget advanced topics and challenge problems I got wrong on GMATprep.

Thoughts on that? Part of me feels awkward to pull back on advanced topics I know I haven't mastered (eg. probability), and I've barely tapped OG, but part of me thinks that ironing out kinks and error analysis is more important.

As I'm sure everybody knows, study time is precious and studying smart is key!!!

My score target is Q46+, V41+, 710+.

Full practice exam scores below:

Test Date Completed Quant Verbal Score
GMAT Simulator Set 1 2012-11-11
40 41 640

GMAT Simulator Set 1 2012-11-18
36 42 630

GMAT Simulator Set 2 2012-11-25
42 44 680

GMAT Simulator Set 2 2012-12-03
47 26 610

GMAT Prep 2012-12-09
43 38 660

GMAT Simulator Set 1 2012-12-16
41 41 650

GMAT Simulator Set 2 2012-12-24
45 39 670

MGMAT 2012-12-30
40 36 630

GMATPrep 2 2012-1-6
48 40 710

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by DominateTheGMAT » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:59 pm
Hi tim415,

First, congratulations on solid practice test scores and a well-thought-out study plan. I have no doubt you'll be able to hit your goals with two additional weeks of study time.

Second, if you've barely scratched the OG book, I think that's the next best place for you to go. Especially if you're trying to jump from mid-600's to >700, working the harder questions in that book will pay dividends. In fact, start with questions 100+ in each section of that book. It will help with pattern recognition and expose you to more 700+ level question. Also, the answer explanations in the back will key you in to certain strategies and concepts that you may not have encountered yet.

Finally, continuing to work on time management is always important. Here's an article with some good tips: ... echniques/

Best of luck to you and let me know how else I can help,

Brett Ethridge
Get into the Business School of Your Choice.
Online GMAT Preparation for a Higher Score!