Tag Archives: study

Strategy for GMAT : study under a month.

The general answer for EVERYBODY :
PREPARATION for GMAT: STRATEGY for 30 days schedule:

[Here’s quick-n-dirty article about ‘study under a month’. Many people have aced the test by just 3 to 4 weeks of study. If you’re in time crunch, dont worry! by using right approach/ method you too can ace it.]

I presume you have sound knowledge of: all areas that GMAT tests; how GMAT works; what is its structure etc…
I assumed this because you generally register a date at least one month before. (if you’ve not, you should. …at least this is what I recommend! The early you book a date, easier it will be for you to plan a killing strategy). Lastly, of course, I assume you do get acquainted with GMAT before sending them your credit card number!

So you’ve thirty days. or let’s say, just four weeks!
Since it is much short period than ideal period to study for the test, you might need to compromise on few study materials which are not significant to you.
e.g. If you’re weak in verbal and Math is your strength you should devote more time for verbal (obviously! )

Coming to materials:
GMAT official guide 11th Edition is must:
Purchase the book immediately if you haven’t already!
As they suggested in the OG (official guide), ‘start with the diagnostic test’. Know your weak areas and know your strengths.
Repeat diagnostic test next day to see how awfully you score. Do meticulous analysis (let’s call it MA here onwards; I’ll come to it in next paragraph.) about your test/answers.
OG 11 has labeled/classified each question (which is great!). Use these tags in the future prep too….know which question belong to which category.

My definition of MA (meticulous analysis) and when & how to apply it:
While practicing GMAT problems I advise to solve at least 35-60 questions in one stretch. GMAT is more about mental stamina and patience! The real test is FOUR hours long and it tests your endurance like no other online test. 40-60 questions assures that you can sit at least for an hour at one go.
Make a table, on spreadsheet (on your computer) or on paper, of no. of rows you’ll be taking questions. And write details about how you feel about each question. This should be done while you’re doing the questions. So dont spend more than 2-3 seconds on filling the table (you can tick on pre-defined columns that will save your time). It can be used as a future reference for your study: the table should enable you to quickly realise your problem areas and which type of questions you require maximum amount of time. One session of this sitting should at least be of 35-40 questions; be it from any section: PS, SC, CR, RC or DS.
(…maybe I’ll put snapshots of table if you’re still confused, please remind me at my blog )
Same amount of time you should spend in reading explanation and analyzing each answers as the amount of time you spent in answering these questions. If you got many questions wrong, increase the analysing time.

Coming back to books and materials:
You can refer basic math books, college algebra or high school grammar books to brush up your verbal and quant skills if you really wanted. But with given time constrains like “GMAT in a month” I think I would instead stick to GMAT materials. If you study smart you, over the time, would know that GMAT asks particular type of questions; and they just love to ask them that way 😉 You’ll be familiar with GMAT style if you solve more OG problems.
Refer to Official guide 11.
Check the math section of the book. Read it (~10 hours?) and re-read all its theory to know the syllabus of GMAT right. Don’t end up studying subjects that are not tested in GMAT.

Download GMAT Prep software for simulated CAT from mba.com. It’s free!

There are many other sim CATs (simulated Computer Adaptive Tests)� that you should purchase.

Check out the article to know more about these sim C A Ts

You can finish OG11 in 5-6 days (Yes you can! but you shouldn’t). Many folks I know finished it in a week (I too did it once-just for fun); but that is not the right strategy. Since the time is short you surely can compromise on other books but not on OG11.
The problems in OG 11 are arranged in ascending order of difficulty. That means, you get harder (/upper range) questions at the end of the problem sets in each section. However problem types (categories) are mixed throughout the sets. This makes many things easy in setting a study schedule. You know your level and can begin the OG accordingly 😉
They say OG11 is a bible of GMAT! Solve as many as problems you can; examine the answers carefully do the ‘MA’ as suggested above. Make Analysis chart.

Try to go through OG 11 twice in the month. (Since I’m not suggesting any other book along with OG, I think its possible to do this.) Check your progress regularly. Once you finish OG for first time you’ll get idea of how many day it’ll take to you to study one more time! If you think you have more time left you should check with other two official guides
OG Verbal guide
and the OG Quant guide.

These new two official guides, (also known as purple and green guides,) are
published when GMAC stopped the production of OG 10th edition. While new
problems are in OG 11; purple and green guides give you lot of repeats from OG
10th edition. Therefore it is wise not to buy these two books iff you already have OG 10.

Three official guides (along with the sim CATs ) are enough for a month study!

Usually, I suggest to take as many simulated CATs as possible. Practice them periodically; say, one in three-four days.
Practice tests play very significant role in your preparation. You’ll need four hours to solve each of them and two more hours to analyze them.
Since they are Computer Adaptive tests you get only one question at a time and at times, you become curious to know your score and you hurriedly complete the test. (just to know where you stand and see the answers) Needless to say: dont do that 😐 While these CATs are especially created to gauge your performance for actual GMAT, I see practice tests purely for practice. These tests hone your endurance, mental stamina to face four hour long real GMAT test! The tests are time consuming and drains your energy and hence you should keep special period for these CATs in your schedule. Be ready to spend ~6 hours for a test. Keep your cell phone on silent mode. Don’t start the test at 10.30 in the night: I know most of you out there are owls 😀 but it really not going to help in your real test. (You cant take the real-McCoy in the night, right? 😉 In fact, once you know your test times be sure to take these practice tests on the same time of the day… say: start your test everytime on 1.30 pm if your real test is scheduled on 1.30 pm of the G-Day!

——————————————————————————————–
I think this much is enough!
If I receive any comment I might add something you wanted.

To sum up the article I can say:

  • Eat OG 11.
  • if time permits study OG verbal and quant
  • Eat OG 11 one more time
  • GMAT Prep : the official computer adaptive practise test for GMAT
  • Plus other CATs

Note that I have not set any particular order in this you should all of it simultaneously.

Hope that helps everyone who is in time crunch.

1000 SC, CR are they worth your time?

They are very famous documents. Yes they are famous and there are lots of reasons for it.
But being famous doenst make them nice.
All right, so lets see whats these documents are upto!
If you are checking my blog regularly, you must be knowing that some months back I made an announcement that I’ll exhaust 1000 SC document & I’ll provide the explanation of their questions. Yes! I tried that but while I was in process of eating 1000 SC document I observed many things about the document that I’d like to share here.

But before that, what’s the fuss? What’s 1000 SC & 1000 CR all about?

1000 SC is a compilation of thousand sentence correction problems related to GMAT exam. Similarly 1000 CR is a word document of thousand critical reasoning problem related to GMAT and LSAT tests. They were produced by very renowned company called scoretop ( you can see the link of the scoretop forums on right hand column of my blog, )
They are easily on internet on sharing/ uploading sites such as esnip or megaupload or rapidshare well you might find some copyrighted documents on such sites but these documents are even available on various (almost every ) GMAT related forums the reason for this is they’re meant to share it across the world wide web.
I am sure you’ll find them anywhere.
So, they are popular. And have so many problems to practice, that GMAT aspirants download them and use them.

Well even I did the same.

[Now before I go ahead I must thank score top for compiling such huge documents. These documents, since available for free on internet, helped and are helping many people who can’t otherwise affort to buy premium GMAT study material.]

But the problem with 1000 SC is that it doesn’t give you the explanations to the answers. That end us up in wondering why given particular answer is correct.
As I started solving 1000 SC problems more & more I realized that the problems are not that ^GMAT like^.
If you compare the 1000SC problems with problems from Official guides or Power Prep or GMAT prep you’ll realize that they do not follow the same trend, or similar style or what they call GMAT like.
Many constructions are bad awkward and they simply arent worth your time studying.
Morever I started a special thread on one of the forum encouraging people to post the problems from 1000 SC that have wrong answers.

Take one, for example, Problem #985 discussed in one of the forums where I am active member.
So there are some problems like these where the answer given in the document is actually wrong!
I am looking for some more such problems. but then I think is it worth the time?

The answer come : NO. You have other good materials that you can refer.

SO the bottomline is refer to OG 11th edition; exhaust it, you have GMAT-Prep, solve every problem also there are similar official materials such as Power Prep & other books Purple and green official guide (refer to How to Approach GMAT & GMAT strategy for more details )
& still if you think that you need some more material to practise then refer them back exhaust OG 11 twice.
& then you’ll be able to know which are GMAT like problem then you can safely start 1000 SC

PS: I think special article for 1000 CR is not worth, same can be said about 1000 CR or 3000 RC. However good (or a bad) thing about these other documents is: they’ve included LSAT type problems which are good for practise as they’re considered more difficult than GMAT types. So one last tip before wraping up: go for LSAT problems for higher level 🙂
Thank you.

You can download these documents from here.

In search of GMAT blogs

Hello people as I mentioned in my earlier article in my blog, I am compiling the list of GMAT bloggers.
If you have a blog and you write something about GMAT in your blog then just let me know. I’ll add your url weblink in this article. All you have to do is send me a note. You can post a comment or just put a note on the chat box, which is available on the right hand side of the blog.

You must have seen a new item “Great GMAT links” in the right column.

Yes, I know what now you are thinking… something similar to League of MBA bloggers or Dave’s MBA list… NO.

For “Great GMAT links
No. I wont just add the link of your GMAT blog. I’ll check your blog and will see whether you are regular into blogging, whether you write more about GMAT. If I find it really worth you will be listed in the “Great GMAT links”

I hope a good response from GMAT enthusiasts :

The list of GMAT bloggers (so far)
UPDATE:Apologies I updated the links today on Aug 2008. I must say some of the links mentioned below are worth reading entirely!!

Keep them coming guys.

& I found a Blogs Directory which keeps database of all blogs available.

How to Approach the GMAT

A beginner’s guide to GMAT Materials:

The first thing any MBA aspirant should do is visit official MBA/GMAT site …spend some 2-3 hours there. (or even 2-3 days!) & read as much as you can. The information published there is unbiased, genuine, authentic, eye-opener & myth-breaker.

Then you should download a sim CAT GMAT test available there: name is GMAT Prep; it’s of ~25MB size.

The site mba.com will help you understand: what’s GMAT in general terms, its significance, its structure and the way company conducts the test worldwide.

(I will not go into GMAT structure in detail since that’s not the purpose of this article. Let’s focus on resources/study materials for GMAT! )

You’ll obviously need some books to prepare for GMAT. GMAC, the organisation that sets GMAT test, published three books recently, known as official guides.

They are:  (Follow the link to read reviews about these books)

  1. The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition
  2. The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review
  3. The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review

they are nicknamed as orange, purple and green guides respectively. (Note that the article first published in early 2007/late 2006; today OG 12th edition & 2nd edition of Verbal & Math guides are available You can check the detailed review in my GMAT books review page.)

Official guide 11th edition is THE book you should start with and end your preparation.

You should trust these guides along with GMATPrep software (mentioned in 2nd para).

Although these guides and a simulation software for CAT (computer adaptive test) are fantastic for the practice problems, they don’t provide study strategies…

In short: when it comes to problems solving in practice sessions, nothing beats above mentioned materials. But for strategies and tactics (read shortcuts! ) you need to look for some extra materials.

Other books I would recommend:

(I’ll write an article exclusively for recommended books some time soon.) By the way, these books offer good strategies to attack GMAT; they’ll show you how to approach each section and each problem individually.

But then for taking the test in one go you need to have a patience, faith and stamina. & for that, you need to take as many GMAT simulation tests/ CATs as possible.

[Note: Do not rush and sign up for just any sim CATs available on would wide web.]

Following are the GMAT prep companies you should trust: Reason : they have done enough research to come near to the real GMAT test… (still they are not as near as GMAT Prep or POWER Prep)

[Note that I am not talking about GMAT coaching institutes but the online resources for practice tests ]

  • mba.com (nearest possible)
  • manhattangmat.com (?near? quant tough)
  • 800score.com (easier)
  • kaptest.com (tough)
  • pricetonreview.com (neutral)

They offer good Sim GMAT tests.

Note that I have not mentioned about other books or other sites for practice tests which simplymeans they are NOT worth your time & money. Caution: This has exception of Veritas Prep. I haven’t had chance to review their products.

Now let’s have some non-brand materials,

Materials those are freely available on cyberspace and have no copyright issues.

BeattheGMAT’s flashcard (best flashcards you could get )

Grammar Notes:

Sahil’s Grammar Notes

Spidey’s Sentence Correction Notes & some more docs such as Rajat-nda’s notes.

You will get above documents anywhere online, just search around on GMAT related forums. The reason why I am so selective in mentioning about the resources is, people just take any darn test or soft copies of books available on internet just to end up in pracitsing non-GMAT questions.

Therefore I am with trusted and reputable resources. I insist…

DONT WASTE YOUR TIME IN STUDYING AND PRACTISING WRONG SETS OF PROBLEMS.

…still if you want more practice problems then download thousand series by scoretop

  • 1000 SC
  • 1000 CR
  • 3000 RC

Again, these documents are available freely everywhere on internet. Note that documents do not have explanations to the problems. You will have to join some GMAT realated online forums to discuss those problems. I am not pro-1000 series doc as such but I feel these documents are one of a kind. You’ll never get such a great no. of questions compiled in a single document and that too absolutely free!

[OK! After some time getting into GMAT prepeparation/studying environment, you should start realising the easy methods to solve the problems, you should be able to discover some shortcuts. Key is you should examine the strategies that are discussed in prep books and use them according to your needs & study-style.] If you see these signs you know that you’re going in the right direction. All the best 🙂

Post GMAT course for getting admission into MBA programs

While prepping for GMAT you should also be aware of the b-schools you want to apply. You must have a long term plan & You should do some research on the b-schools that suits your long term goal.

For such informations you have b-schools’ own web-sites which give all information about MBA programs you desire/along with plenty of other good sites:

Dave’s MBA Journey

Hjort’s b-school corner from GMAT Club Forums :

There are MBA admission consultants, ready to give you free advice & assessment. Check them out!

Accepted.com

ClearAdmit

Stacy Blackman Co. blog

Above blogs update several times a week; keep tab on all these site & be informed. I think that’s enough for now. Feel free to comment. & yes, subscribe, spread the word! for world peace!

PS: If you like this article, you might like to take a look at this one too: GMAT in a month: strategy.