Tag Archives: GMAT Strategy

Download free GMAT 1000 series documents.

1000 series documents for verbal studies, are free study materials with literally tons of practise problems.
The documents were made by ScoreTop.com, the premium online GMAT forums that is now sued by GMAC.  If you’re curious about “When, why and how GMAC banned it?” you should visit scoretop.com site itself. It is history now and people, especially other GMAT forum administrators learned the lesson from the case. We at Beat The GMAT been following story. This thread cautioning users not to post Scoretop material or even visit the site will shed more light on the matter.
History apart there’s no doubt that 1000 series document used to be popular among GMAT students. I receive several requests for these documents each month, so I’m making these available to all fellow MBA aspirants. According to the source, these documents are actually the compilation of GMAT type questions, taken from several sources, including OG, official guides for GMAT review, which has retired, real GMAT  questions. The Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension (CR & RC) sets have questions borrowed from LSAT & GRE as well, making it very huge list of problems.
Did you know that 1000 RC doc has 3000 problems not 1000!! Follow my 1000 SC/ series related articles and you’ll find more info about these also you’ll notice that I do not actually recommend these materials. Nevertheless, they’re good if you dont wanna spend any money and want loads of practise problems.
Check following posts to download respective files.

Note: I do not encourage you to use live GMAT questions for you GMAT preparation. (Live questions are those which are recently tested in GMAT exam, which are still float on GMAT question bank. ) I’ve removed password protection from these files. Now they are easy to download. Enjoy!

Why to buy GMAT OG12? & how GMAT works?

This is second part of the article. Part-I can be viewed here: When is the right time to take GMAT.

Before I explain the importance of OG12 I need to tell you how GMAT test works.

How GMAT adds new questions to their question bank & removes old questions, periodically.

Have you heard of experimental questions in GMAT? Around one quarter of GMAT questions you tackle in the test are experimental & they never get counted in your real GMAT score. They are present in both sections, verbal & quantitative and are placed randomly throughout the test. Yeah, but this is not important to us right now; our main concern is “why GMAC have them in the test when they are irreverent to the final score?

Well! As they call it, they are experimental questions; they are untested and are brand new. To figure out the difficulty level of each of these questions, they experiment with them by adding them in current GMAT question pool. Based on response collected from GMAT test takers all across the world, questions are “tagged” with certain difficulty level. Once the difficulty level is identified these questions come in test as ‘real’ questions. (which then no more remain ‘experimental’).

The point is, questions in GMAT keep on changing but majority of questions remain in question bank for certain period. (In our checmical engineering terminology we call it space time 😉 ) Now you might realise the reason why you’re not allowed to retake the test immediately after your first (former) attempt. [hint! get the hint!!] (FYI, You need to wait for at least 30/31 days or something to retake it.)

In past when 11th edition just launched, I learned, test takers found quite a few questions from OG 11 in their real GMAT test …. same or similar set of questions. Although GMAT students can’t reveal the live questions they were certainly forunate to take the test during the period when OG was fresh and new. As time passed, test takers reported less questions or less similar questions in their real GMAT to official guide. It is therefore obvious to expect more similar questions in real GMAT these days when OG-12th edition is fresh-n-new.

So, what are you waiting for? Get the Official Guide 12th Edition now!

I must confess, this is series article & I drafted it in April 2009. But due to my erratic blogging frequency I didn’t publish it. I am fully aware that I should have posted it on OG-12th launch period but :sigh!: … anyways.

One more update is, official guide for verbal review & math review the two supplimentary books are about to be on stores in couple of months. Though I dont take them seriously, I just thought to inform you about it.

More about OG-12 & its review in next article <maybe> 😀

bbye!!

When is the right time to take the GMAT

This is the most common question/concern I hear from GMAT students. And I’ve answered it plenty of time. & let me tell you, the answer never change: the short version of the answer is: When you think you’re ready for the test; just take it.
But this time we have special occasion. & I would write a long answer. If you’re reading this article, most probably you’re facing this question currently and still haven’t booked date for the GMAT. I think you’re  fortunate if you’re in that boat. Because you still have the freedom to decide and schedule your preparation according to the date of GMAT exam you opt for.
Unlike the CAT (the national level Indian entrance test), GMAT can be taken any day, any month of the year/season. Therefore this question becomes very critical. (CAT on the other hand happens nationwide once in a year.)

I usually do not suggest to post-pone, delay/extend or per-pone the GMAT test. But specifically for this period, if you’re thinking of taking GMAT this or next month (ie. March/April 2009) I would suggest you to wait for NEW OG. It’ll be beneficial to you if you refer to new book, study it thoroughly and then take the test. If you’re in the middle of the preparation but haven’t booked the date for the GMAT, this is right opportunity to you to buy OG 12. Once you have OG 12 GMAT review book, add some 6 weeks to your preparation & book the date accordingly. It’s very important & I feel you very lucky to be in this situation. Having new OG fresh n young is like a goldmine, my reasoning for this para/statement: I’ll explain it in my next article. (stay tuned).

OG, the official guide, if you dont know already is called the bible of GMAT preparation; published by the people behind GMAT test (GMAC). Its latest edition is out on stores. Check out the following link of OG12
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition.
(My Indian visitors fyi the book will hit in most of the Indian book stores by month end. or you can always order online via the link above.)
The new edition has new set of questions, ( I’ll make a post about the detailed review on this book later in the 3rd part of this article) & it’s highly recommended that you should go through these new set of questions. I’ll explain you later why it is important to buy OG 12th edition even if you have earlier editions of offcial guide. (ie. OG 11, OG purple & OG green)

GMAT flashcards for free!

The ultimate flashcards for GMAT preparation is now available for free!

Yes, I aam talking about BeatTheGMAT Flashcards. & yes I know that it was for free earlier too but you had to be registered member of the beat the GMAT forums to download it.�
Now it’s made available for grabs, a shareware. You dont have to be a member of the site.
Here’s the launch page: of GMAT flashcards

mayonnai5e's Errors & GMAT lessons learned:blog in threaded format

So what I am reading in my spare time these days?

mayonnai5e started his GMAT preparation on Beat the GMAT forums when I was on my Biiiiiiiiiiig-vacation. Therefore I couldn’t track his progress and so the thread, closely. Still I remember, I had put some comments whenever I saw his my blog errors and lessons learned thread. He, very meticulously wrote his GMAT progress “mistakes done n lessons learned” and end up producing some new strategies to attack GMAT test! Like Eric, he too started writing his daily progress about his ‘GMAT studies, tests taken, obstacles faced and new strategies adopted

One of the advantage of writing your GMAT test preparation progress in thread format over the blog is you make it more interactive! You can invite others to share their similar experience or solve your troubles. Mayonnai5e had Eric and Stacey K. with him on his GMAT journey.
Check out the whole thread (especially last few pages) and you’ll find some cool tips and analysis from Stacey K.
Stacey Koprince is one of the eminent GMAT teacher from Manhattan GMAT and resident expert at Beat the GMAT forums. (You can check out the detail profile of Stacey Koprince at manhattan.com)

1000 SC series RIP

This post is dedicated to the thread I once started to compile all the questions of 1000 SC document, which would be discussed on Beat the GMAT forums.

The purpose of starting the thread was not to encourage GMAT students to use 1000 SC document but was just to give them ready reference to the other threads where the respective question from 1000 SC are discussed in the forums. It was for benifit of forums’ members. But now it’s not a sticky maybe because of some reasons
The questions are taken from GMAT sets JJ. (which was once a product of ScoreTop.)
Beat the GMAT had not created that document is not associated with 1000 SC in any way. In fact this document is available for free even before BeatTheGMAT was born.

vhooosh!! I think I’ve talked a lot about these stuffs here, on my GMAT blog or on some GMAT related forums( TestMagic &/or BeattheGMAT). I cant help it as many people ask about 1000 SC, CR documents, their credibility, GMAT sets & then questions like what’s JJ or what’s GMAT sets… and all sorts of rumours or realities. I think I’ve had enough of replying or responding to it. It’s kind of banter chat and has no substance in it; so now I have decided not to talk about it anymore!

Oh yeah! that reminds me to one more “hot topic” of which I am really pissed off reading over and over again. May be I’ll talk about it on my next article .. perhaps for the last time. The topic is : first 8 question myth 😆 :thumbsup:

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.

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.