Thank you very much for putting your GMAT strategy guide on the net, it's the best so far! I am not a native speaker, I am struggling with my preparation. I feel like I am not progressing, can you please advise something on this regard? I really appreicated it.
Best Regards, "T"
That’s a difficult question to answer. I’ll try my best.
I’m hoping that you’re doing well in Math. If this is not the case.. then the answer may be in how you review and think through why you get the wrong answer and ESPECIALLY why you got the right answer. You have to do your best to commit to daily reviews of the ones you got wrong from the previous day. OG is the best book hands down. Review all the answers in it. Moreover, you should review all the ones you’ve been getting wrong at least once a week. If you keep getting them wrong.. then you’re approach has been to just solve the problem.. rather than understand the concepts. If you're interested in which questions are difficult, medium or easy, you can check out the spreadsheet that I pulled from GMAC to help you.
For English.. If you think about it… verbal is a math skill too. There are rules and guidelines and many ways to approach the answer. You have to understand the basics. I started to do that in my study guide. You have to make sure you memorize the basics. Then it comes down to repetition and practice. Don’t just try to do as many problems as you can when it comes to English. Understand not just why you got the question right.. buy exactly why the other choices were poor. Don’t just say.. makes sense or sounds right. It's better to figure out which rule it broke or which concept the wrong answer didn’t adhere too.
By the way… take a practice full exam… not just verbal or math… but a full exam at least 1 per week. Find any test you can get your hands on. It doesn’t matter if the test is adaptive or not. And put yourself under the same time pressures of both the test taking time and the length of breaks. This part is crucial.
What I described is the big picture approach for the GMAT. When it comes to discipline… there are two things that I would suggest.
1) Take a class, but quit the class if the teacher sucks. They should blow your socks off otherwise, it’s a waste of your time.
2) Whether you take the class or not… get to a place where you can focus and study with little or no distractions. I study at universities myself. For example, while I wrote my application essays and studied for the GMAT, I went to Stanford at their 24 study center and took some drinks and sandwiches everyday. Even Saturday’s and Sunday’s. I called and wrote my friends that I wouldn’t be around much because of my studies and I canceled a lot of appointments and activities in my life. I gave myself permission once a week to go see a movie after taking a practice test because my brain was fried anyway.
I'm definitely not an expert at the GMAT, but my humble opinion... I've written what I believe to be a good approach to studying for the GMAT. Not all ways work for everyone. I hope you find what works the best for you. But trying various methods such as what I've outlined will hopefully get you there.