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Saturday, June 19, 2004

More Studying and my GMAT Study Plan

Been studying quite a bit. For those problems that I get wrong or are unsure, I've found going through and writing out step by step as though I'm teaching somebody how to solve the problem helps me to really understand the concept and steps.

I've refined my study plan quite a bit. Thus far, I've:
1) Gone through all the Quant in Kaplan and Princeton
2) Done all Princeton Review CAT questions
3) Gone through all the Delta Course study material actively and all the sample questions. Also did a little more than 1/2 of the delta course bonus questions
4) 170 questions of PS in OG and 50 questions of DS in OG.
5) Actively studied and read the study material for all Quant and Verbal in Princeton.
6) Actively engage in studying and understanding questions I see on testmagic.com.
7) Done all the Powerprep Sample questions.

As I have 5 weeks left for the GMAT, my study plan looks like the following

Week 1:
1) Do one essay per day
2) OG mixture of questions from all areas. As much as I can do.
Averaging 150 questions per day. Planning on finishing the following
schedule this week ( PS:To #225, DS To #200, RC: To #125, SC: To #135,
CR: To #52 )
3) Powerprep test #1 under timed conditions
4) 800 score or other full test under timed conditions
5) Review math basic sheet, Idiom List, Tips & Tricks, I've added more to this and have my own addendum of formulas and concepts to review.

Week 2:
1) Do one essay per day
2) OG mixture of questions from all areas. As much as I can do.
Averaging 150 questions per day. Planning on finishing the following
schedule this week ( PS:To #391, DS To #250, RC: To #225, SC: To #225,
CR: To #175 )
3) Review Princeton Verbal Tips - All
4) Visit the Test Center
5) Kaplan Test #1 under timed conditions
6) Finish DeltaCourse Questions #80-150

Week 3:
1) Do one essay per day
2) OG mixture of questions from all areas. As much as I can do.
Averaging 150 questions per day. Planning on finishing the following
schedule this week ( PS:To #441, DS To #274, RC: To #285, SC: To #268,
CR: To #205 )
3) Older GMAC Test#1 under timed conditions
4) Review all OG questions I got wrong or had issues with.
5) Review math basic sheet, Idiom List, Tips & Tricks, I've added more to this and have my own addendum of formulas and concepts to review.

Week 4:
1) Do two essays. Considering using GMAC's Essay Insight to se how my writing is. You can actually have GMAC review the essay using the same computer review software that is used on the actual GMAT. It's $20 to review 2 essays.
2) Redo all Princeton Review RC and CR, SC questions
3) Kaplan Test #2 under timed conditions
4) Complete review of OG questions I originally got wrong or had issues with.
5) Use Powerprep test to assess weak areas and restructure last 1/2 of this week and Week #5 to address study plan to improve those areas.
6) Review math basic sheet, Idiom List, Tips & Tricks, I've added more to this and have my own addendum of formulas and concepts to review.

Week 5:
1) Kaplan Test #3 under timed conditions.
2) PowerPrep Test #2 under timed conditions.
3) Re-assess weak areas and adjust again.
4) Review math basic sheet, Idiom List, Tips & Tricks, I've added more to this and have my own addendum of formulas and concepts to review.

No studying day before test. Take test Saturday 7/24.


7 Comments:

Blogger mba07 said...

Hey Dave,
Your plan looks solid. All the best with the execution. Ok, here are my thoughts on a few things I read:

a) the GMAC paper test. The site says " Portions of the paper tests can be found in other GMAC materials, such as the Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition and the free software POWERPREP®." so you may want to look at whether these tests will be of much use to you. Ofcourse this depends on what percentage of the 3 tests has a presence in the OG etc.

b) Dude, ppl out there seem to suggest one thing in unison, "dont do a Kaplan test closer to test day" cause its harder than the actual test and you may want to have your confidence levels high just before G day. Have you considered taking a Arco test? Its supposed to be realllly easy and so gives you a really high score. Hey, but what you really need before the exam is confidence.

Just thought I should share my thoughts with you on your strategy. All the best with the execution!

cheers,
mba07

11:28 AM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

Thanks so much for your feedback. I think I agree with your comment about the Kaplan in the last week. I'll move it to the week before. As for GMAC, I think I'll go through a couple of the tests and scan for questions that I find are in the general areas of where I need more practice. Verbal mostly. I'm running out of good tests. I think Arco may be a good choice though. I find that I need more practice in problem solving and DS in the areas of two rates of travel and meeting, dilution, overall rate word problems, exponents, theory w/ variables, complex probability where math theory @ the end is needed and paying closer attention to the question to not oversolve the question. Sometimes, one doesn't need to solve for X all the time. Thanks for the encouragement.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Metal said...

Dave,
Yes I second that...taking Kaplan so close to your exam might hurt your confidence.If you really wanna give an exam apart from PP then it should be PR.Your plan looks rock solid to me.But can I ask you one thing..as far as I know there are only 2 Powerprep tests ..right!.You mentioned about PP-3...hows that?
BTW..I have been a consitent reader of your blog...even I would be applying for fall 2005 and in that regard I plan to start a blog of my own soon.I got to your blog from www.gmatclub.com.

Thanks.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

I thought there were three when I wrote the plan. After taking the PowerPrep yesterday, I saw that there were indeed two. I need to correct my study plan and come up with a replacement test. Thanks for the feedback. I spent part of last night and will finish the rest of the adjustment to my study plans today. THANKS. Best wishes to you and your application as well Metal! Let me know how things go for you.

8:40 AM  
Blogger mba07 said...

Hi Dave,
You've made a mention about probability,combinatorics,dilution problems etc...a few questions:

a) Are these types being asked on the actual GMAT? Is there any evidence from a test taker to back this up? Though going through all this may not harm you but if these questions appear rarely then you wouldnt want to spend too much time mastering these areas. Any ideas on this? Cause if these questions are appearing frequently then all if us need to study a little extra in these areas.Questions on these topics can get pretty tough to tackle...

b) Does the Kaplan 2004 cd ask these questions? Cause I know for sure that the Kaplan 2002 cd doesn't.It didn even pop it up in the diagnostic test..( I just managed to get my hands on the CD a while ago.) Do you think that that Kaplan 2004 CD is significantly different from the 2002 version besides the addtion of a few questions to the section wise practice tests?

about the verbal section:

a) I worked through a couple of SC section practice questions from a PR 2002 CD. I noticed that some of the SC questions were worded wierdly. I wouldn't speak english with the sort of construction I read in those questions. Have you had any similar experiences on the PR Verbal section?

12:45 PM  
Blogger mba07 said...

Hi Dave,
You've made a mention about probability,combinatorics,dilution problems etc...a few questions:

a) Are these types being asked on the actual GMAT? Is there any evidence from a test taker to back this up? Though going through all this may not harm you but if these questions appear rarely then you wouldnt want to spend too much time mastering these areas. Any ideas on this? Cause if these questions are appearing frequently then all if us need to study a little extra in these areas.Questions on these topics can get pretty tough to tackle...

b) Does the Kaplan 2004 cd ask these questions? Cause I know for sure that the Kaplan 2002 cd doesn't.It didn even pop it up in the diagnostic test..( I just managed to get my hands on the CD a while ago.) Do you think that that Kaplan 2004 CD is significantly different from the 2002 version besides the addtion of a few questions to the section wise practice tests?

about the verbal section:

a) I worked through a couple of SC section practice questions from a PR 2002 CD. I noticed that some of the SC questions were worded wierdly. I wouldn't speak english with the sort of construction I read in those questions. Have you had any similar experiences on the PR Verbal section?

cheers,
mba07

12:45 PM  
Blogger Dave for MBA said...

To answer your questions.
1) Probability, combinatorics, dilution are most definitely on the GMAT. Moreover, so is counting and Permutations. For probability, or permutations, there are such problems as class percentage makeup of subjects and figure out odds of what subject matter they are in, Total probability, ring probability (have 6 people and how many combinations would there be if they sat around a round table.) From Ursula who frequents www.testmagic.com, her postmortem of the actual GMAT reads, "The Quant section was pretty much what I expected from OG. Slanted towards the more difficult end of the OG spectrum, but nothing totally unexpected. I was a bit surprised about the number of DS questions - I would guess about 50%, compared to the 33% suggested by Kaplan. Questions covered a pretty broad range – arithmetic, algebra, word problems (surprisingly no work or mixture problems), geometry, coordinate geometry, number properties, and 3 or 4 combination and probability questions. " I've read other peoples postmortems and I've never seen anyone get more than 4 probability or permutations questions. But there is almost always at least 1.
b) Kaplan covers, dilution, combination and probability on pages 196-198. I have the 2003 book. Just looked it up for you. In the Kaplan test, I'm looking at the book and see #26 is a probability question, #27 is dilution. Don't know about the CAT questions as I haven't done them yet. Overall, Kaplan really doesn't cover these areas well. It's like an afterthought level of coverage. Princeton is about the same. I don't have the 2002 and 2004 versions to compare, but I know the 2003 Princeton and 2004 differences were just like you said about Kaplan. The study guides were not touched and only questions were added. I just went through the Princeton Review 2003 book and found that in all three tests, I found a total of 2 probability questions and 1 permutation. That's pretty weak.

Regarding Verbal. I've come to the conclusion the difference between someone who does well on the SC and one who doesn't is the one who overlooks their "sounds right, I'll go with that" bias. Consequently they have a difficult time with the SC sections. That would be me as well. I get on the average 3-7 wrong in SC every sectional test I've taken. That's enough to destroy a 700+ GMAT chance. I've just recently picked up the pace on my SC and find quite a few awkward sentences but they don't break any grammar rules. That's the key I think. Despite the awkwardness, does the question follow known grammer rules. The 8 rules in Princeton are fabulously well documented and should be memorized. The Kaplan book and Princeton book, both define the 8 major rules of grammar. The Kaplan book has better drills after each rule, but the Princeton book in my opinion does a slightly better job in explaining the rules.

2:08 PM  

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