When to STOP studying for the GMAT

We invite all community contributors to share resources that are deemed to help students beat the GMAT. We've created individual threads to match the main topics, so please select the best fit for your content carefully.
This topic has expert replies

GMAT/MBA Expert

User avatar
GMAT Instructor
Posts: 2094
Joined: 04 Dec 2012
Thanked: 1443 times
Followed by:247 members

When to STOP studying for the GMAT

by ceilidh.erickson » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:52 am
This is a question I frequently get from students: how do I know when enough is enough? Should I cut my losses and proceed with the score I have?

I created this step-by-step guide to decide: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... ying-gmat/
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

GMAT Instructor
Posts: 2630
Joined: 12 Sep 2012
Location: East Bay all the way
Thanked: 625 times
Followed by:118 members
GMAT Score:780

ok sure

by [email protected] » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:16 pm
Great post, Ceilidh! One thing I'd add: progress on the GMAT isn't linear! It's much harder to get from 650 to 700 than it is to get from 500 to 650. I tell students this a lot, but there's a perfect illustration in the news this week - Bitcoin! Everyone's heard about the unfathomable price spike of Bitcoin, probably in articles accompanied by charts like this:

Image

Wow! This thing was just muddling along for years before skyrocketing almost overnight, huh? But what if we look at it somewhat differently, with a log scale:

Image

Looks a bit different now, doesn't it? Yes, Bitcoin has more or less quadrupled over the past four years ... but it more or less centupled (look it up, and have smelling salts handy) from 2012 to 2014.

Your GMAT progress will go much the same way: if you've got talent, a great work ethic, and the right materials, you'll make quite a bit of progress at first because points in the middle of the curve are cheap. The closer you get to the top, though, the dearer those points become, since you have to take them from your most talented competitors, the people in the 85th, 90th, 95th, and ultimately 99th percentiles. Don't get too discouraged if you find that 10 or 20 point gains are that much more grueling the further you've climbed.

GMAT Instructor
Posts: 2630
Joined: 12 Sep 2012
Location: East Bay all the way
Thanked: 625 times
Followed by:118 members
GMAT Score:780

by [email protected] » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:20 pm
Obligatory disclaimer of a follow up post: I'm not recommending that anyone buy Bitcoin! (In fact if it were me I'd be selling, but don't take investment advice from me, for goodness sake!) It just seemed like a neat way to frame an idea I thought might be helpful.

GMAT/MBA Expert

User avatar
GMAT Instructor
Posts: 2094
Joined: 04 Dec 2012
Thanked: 1443 times
Followed by:247 members

by ceilidh.erickson » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:26 pm
I absolutely LOVE how nerdy this analogy is!

Matt is absolutely right - the higher your score, the harder it becomes to make incremental progress to the next highest score. So if it took you 2 months to get from a 600 to 650, it might take 4 more months to cross the 700 threshold. You might not have that much time, or there might be many more productive things to be doing with your time.
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education