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Target 800

by onelasttime » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:22 am
Hi All,

I am planning to take GMAT in April 2016. My target is 780 +/- 20. This will be my second and final attempt.On my first try I scored 590. That was in 2009. Since then I have been dragging my feet all these years entertaining the thought that some day I will give my GMAT and score big. Finally I have decided that the time has come. its going to be now or never. I always dreamed of graduating from a top school but never really put the time and effort is deserves. Now I am willing to do whatever it takes to make the dream a reality.

I graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in 2010 and working full time since then. My job is good and everything is going smooth at work. But I am not happy and I feel like I need a change in my career. I believe MBA will be that change agent. I rate myself as an average student who has basic english and math skills. I know my current skills won't be enough to reach my goal. I have allocated 4 months of time to gain as many skills as I can and be well prepared to beat the gmat.

I will share my plan and progress as often as I can just to keep myself focused. I really appreciate if you guys can help me reach my goal by sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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by Marty Murray » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:27 am
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by [email protected] » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:06 pm
Hi onelasttime,

From what you describe, you're going to have to make some big adjustments to whatever your typical study process is/was AND your general 'attitude' towards the process.

A 780 score goal is far-reaching - 99% of Test Takers cannot score at that level - and it's not actually a score that you'll *need* to get into Business School. This is all meant to say that with a bit more research, you can better define your score goal (and your overall goals).

Four months is a good chunk of study time, so now we need to get you all of the resources that you need. Since it's been years since you last studied for the GMAT, it would be a good idea to take a FULL-LENGTH practice CAT Test; you can download 2 for free from www.mba.com (and they come with some additional practice materials). A FULL CAT takes about 4 hours to complete, so make sure that you've set aside enough time to take it in one sitting. Once you have those scores, you should report back here and we can come up with a study plan.

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by [email protected] » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:48 am
Just a word of caution, 4 months is not really THAT long of a time to study. Chart your progress and map a plan, but realize that it might take a bit longer as your last 50 points are going to be much more difficult than your first 50.
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by onelasttime » Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:06 pm
Thank you all for your expert suggestions.

I finally took my first gmat practice test tonight and scored 630. the test felt really long. I could only answer 29 questions in Quant section and 30 questions in Verbal section in the allotted time.

I am freeing up my schedule to spend at least 3 hours everyday on weekdays and 5-6 hours on Saturdays.

I need to pick up pace and be able to answer all the questions in time. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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by Marty Murray » Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:28 pm
630 is a decent start.

Picking up the pace can be done in multiple ways.

For one thing, once you are familiar with the question types, you will more quickly see how to get to answers. For instance, if you don't know how to handle them, questions about overlapping sets or groups can take several minutes to solve. Once you are familiar with them, you will likely get to the answers in two minutes no problem.

Another thing you can to to pick up the pace is to get good at figuring out quick ways to get to answers. For instance, some questions that seem to require algebra can actually be quickly solved via using some numbers that fit the description of what is going on and seeing what happens when you manipulate those numbers.

One can also look for ways to be more efficient in every aspect of the way one handles questions. Reading comprehension passages can be handled in certain ways. One can be efficient in the way one reads word problems. Even being careful when doing calculations can save time, because fixing little calculation mistakes can suck up time.

Also, one can save time by being good at handling certain processes. For instance there are certain types of triangles that show up consistently on the test. By being good at working with those types of triangles, one can save time. Another thing that comes up is prime factors. So by getting good at finding the prime factors of numbers, one gets set up to handle certain questions quickly.

One thing that does not work, at least not at the beginning, is seeking to do many problems on a timed basis. If you practice answering questions in two minutes before you can actually do them in two minutes, you sabotage the learning process, and you will not really develop the skills you need to get to right answers. So for the most part, use as much time as you need to get practice questions right, even if at first that is like fifteen minutes per question. Learning to get right answers is what it's all about, and then once you are good at getting to right answers, you can seek to get faster and faster until for the most part you do them at test speed.
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by [email protected] » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:52 pm
Hi onelasttime,

I'm hoping that you can clarify a point from your last post. When you say that you could only answer 29 Quant questions and 30 Verbal questions, does that mean that you blindly guessed on all of the remaining questions or that you ran out of time and were physically unable to answer the remaining questions?

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