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Is two months enough to prepare for GMAT?

Discuss Is two months enough to prepare for GMAT? within the GMAT forums, part of the International MBA category; I have full time work and could only spend tow hours on GMAT. Is it enough to get 700+? Advertisements...



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Is two months enough to prepare for GMAT?
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Jolene Gu
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Is two months enough to prepare for GMAT? - February 27th, 2016

I have full time work and could only spend tow hours on GMAT. Is it enough to get 700+?

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Re: Is two months enough to prepare for GMAT? - March 15th, 2016

Two months are not enough... I've spent 6 months on reviewing and finally decided to give up...
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Re: Is two months enough to prepare for GMAT?
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Anjali Khurana
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Thumbs up Re: Is two months enough to prepare for GMAT? - March 16th, 2016

Originally Posted by chisagitta View Post
Two months are not enough... I've spent 6 months on reviewing and finally decided to give up...
That's actually not true. I've seen several discussions that show you "how to prepare for gmat in 2 months"
Step 1: Take a diagnostic test/ actual GMAC Prep Test to see where you stand on Day 1. Do this without any prep. Get familiar with the exam and conversant with different sections including scoring and question types.

Compare your target score range with your current score. Figure out the time you'd be able to devote to prep over the next few weeks. Build a study routine that you can stick to.

Ascertain your weak areas and strong areas.

Step 2: Start with reviewing study material for weak areas and start practicing questions across all sections. Your goal should be to figure out which sections (Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction) and which question types (Arguments, Idioms) trouble you the most. As you practice, keep an eye on your improvements and success rate in solving questions.

Step 3: Once you have a reasonable number of practice questions under your belt, focus on problem areas and everything else in a ratio of 2:1. For example, if Sentence Correction is the only section killing you, brush up on GMAT grammar rules, study key GMAT-specific concepts, and practice SC for twice the amount of time you spend on everything else on a weekly basis. This ensures that you keep improving on problem areas while staying in touch with everything else.

Review study material and your error log from areas that you get wrong most often. For everything else start tracking your time spent per question.

Step 4: Bring your performance on problem areas inline with all other chapters & your overall success rate. Don't let a chapter or section be a dead weight on your score. Start reviewing AWA materials.

Step 5: Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Step 6: Take a timed practice test 3 weeks before the exam and then 1 more practice test every week . Analyze your score and timing.

Now start focusing on GMAT test taking strategy. Figure out what to do if you not being able to complete the entire test on time. Try elimination techniques and other GMAT strategies such as negative assumptions in CR, plugging numbers in Quant etc.

Keep reviewing math or grammar sections that still trouble you.

Step 7: One week prior to the exam, focus on your timing strategies. Donít try to learn new concepts or test-taking strategies during this period. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Make sure you are healthy and fit on test day. Keep your stress in check and make time to review essential rules and strategies.

Key Preparation Strategies

Have a routine: Try to study at the same time each day, and be sure to pace yourself. Don't try to cram. For example, studying every other night for between 30 minutes and 1 hour will allow for much more long-term retention of content than weekly cram-sessions.

Mix and match: Don't spend a month only on verbal and then a month on
math. Mix it up to keep everything fresh in your mind.

Focus on your weaknesses: You may focus more on problem area(s) if you are losing considerably more points in these area(s).

Drill down: Break down PS questions into individual concepts (Fractions, Geometry etc.) and focus on where you are hurting most.

Repeat and Revise: Make sure whatever you learn at the start of the your prep is still fresh on test day.

Donít overemphasize practice tests: Full-length practice tests are important but don't overdo mock tests. One full test every other week is more than enough.

Three-four tests over your prep course is also a sensible structure. If you have a prep schedule stretching over 3 months, a few more tests can be done. Whatever scores you get, focus more on your errors and missed questions than on the actual score. Use practice tests to build test-taking stamina and improve your timing.

Key Preparation Mistakes

Have a realistic prep schedule: Don't plan on an arbitrary prep schedule (5 weeks, 2 months) on Day 1 of your prep. Understanding your goals, current standing, and your work schedule is critical. Once you've developed an understanding of the various components of the exam, make a self assessment or ask a mentor to help you to determine the right amount of time needed to prepare. Donít rush through your prep-remember, your GMAT score is one of the most critical components of your admission application.

Don't ignore weak areas: The GMAT consists of many sections and most test takers will have differing comfort level across the various sections. Even within a section, such as Verbal Ability, the test taker might find one chapter, for instance Reading Comprehension, easier to master than another chapter such as Sentence Correction.

Don't assume that you can make up for your lack of ability on one section by doing better on the other section. This is a critical mistake as doing poorly on one section can harm your score more than acing another section will. As the GMAT is a computer adaptive exam, the sequence and difficulty level of the questions you see on the test adapt to your performance and you definitely don't want to get dinged by doing poorly on easy questions at the beginning of the test. At the very least, make sure you can correctly solve easy questions across all sections.

Cramming doesn't work: A short burst of cram sessions won't help. The exam does not test knowledge or ability to memorize Ė it tests skill and improvements to your score will only come from dedicated and regular practice.

My prep included:

SC - Manhattan, Powerscore, SC Grail, GMAT Club Grammar book
CR - Powerscore
RC - No book, but practised questions from RC99 and OG13.

Ron Purewal's free video lessons - great resource. I saw only few of these videos as I found them only in the last week of my prep but if you have time, go through all of them.

Quant - Manhattan, Abhijit Guha (Few topics), Jeff Sackman Extreme challenge

IR - Manhattan Book, free workshop video, and mba.com & OG 13 online questions.

OG 13, Verbal and Quant OGs V2.

Test Results: dates are in dd/mm/yyyy format

GMATPrep 2.0 CAT1 03/05/2012 Q45 (18 wrong) V32 (12 wrong) 640 - It was before I started the prep to get the feel and judge my level.

MGMAT CAT1 12/06/2012 Q47 (15 wrong) V38 (14 wrong) 700 - IR (4-6)

MGMAT CAT2 15/06/2012 Q47 (17 wrong) V40 (14 wrong) 710 - No IR

MGMAT CAT3 21/06/2012 Q49 (8 wrong) V40 (11 wrong) 730 - IR (3-5)

Powerprep CAT1 date ??? Q50 V44 770 - lot of overlap from OG, but still a good test

Powerprep CAT2 date ??? Q51 V44 770 - lot of overlap from OG, but still a good test

Veritasprep CAT 24/06/2012 Q49 (6 wrong) V46 (5 wrong) 730 - No IR

Princeton CAT 27/06/2012 Q51 (4 wrong) V47 (10 wrongs) 780 - IR-16 (this IR score does not make sense!)

Kaplan CAT 26/06/2012 Q?? V?? 740 - IR 7 (I do not recall and cannot access the breakup now)

GMATPrep 2.0 CAT2 28/06/2012 Q50 (8 wrong) V38 (13 wrong) 730

GMATPrep 2.0 CAT1 01/07/2012 Q51 (4 wrong) V47 (5 wrong) - 780 repeat test with some repeat questions

GMATPrep 1.0 CAT1 date??? Q?? V?? 770 - some repeats from GMATPrep 2.0

MGMAT CAT4 02/07/2012 Q47 (15 wrong) V45 (10 wrong) 740 - IR (1-2)

MGMAT CAT5 06/07/2012 Q51 (5 wrong) V45 (8 wrong) 780 - IR (2-4)

MGMAT CAT6 07/07/2012 Q51 (2 wrong) V42 (8 wrong) 760 - IR (4-5)

Actual GMAT 09/07/2012 Q50 V44 760 - IR - 8, AWA - 5.5 (IR, AWA rcvd. on 25-Jul)

I also tried free tests from GMAT club and they were good help.

MGMAT IR in general is not representative of actual GMAT IR. Actual GMAT IR is not as time consuming as MGMAT IR, otherwise MGMAT CATs are very good for quant and verbal. My last MGMAT CAT score is same as my real GMAT score.

Reflections on and lessons from the prep and tests:

I have good quant skills but after after 10 years of job, I needed to put some effort to prepare for GMAT quant. The GMAT quant is a pretty good test of concepts, application, accuracy and speed. I went through all the Manhattan quant guides completely once and these books are good. I used Abhijit's Guha quant book for Permutation, Combination and some Geometry stuff. I solved all OG 13 and Qunat OG problems with time constraint.

Unlike some other guys, I never found extra time on a quant section of a test. At best, I found the 75 mins adequate to finish the section on time.
MGMAT CAT quant is tough to complete in 75 mins.

I am not a native English speaker, so I needed to put extra effort in Verbal. I started with Sentence Correction and spent most of my verbal prep time in SC. I had 80 - 90 % accuracy in OG, SC Grail problems, MGMAT CATs but to my horror I had 60 % SC accuracy in GMAT prep test, Kaplan test and Princeton test. I learnt my lesson and started to focus on RC and CR as well and I found my holy grail of verbal. After improving on these two areas, I was able to raise my verbal score to 45 in last 3 MGMAT CATs and 44 in the actual GMAT. I am a slow reader but I kind of memorize the passage after one read and it worked well for me. Even if I took 4 - 5 mins for long passages, I needed only 30 t0 40 secs to answer each question. Contrary to popular opinion, I benifited much more from RC and CR with little effort than from SC with lot of effort. My advice to prospective test takers is to analyse your trade offs well. For RC please pay attention to the twisted sentences, because they are good targets to frame a question from. Even if you need to read these sentences twice, do so to understand exactly what the heck they mean. For CR, powerscore book is awesome ! Learn and use the techniques such as , reverse causality, assumption negation, variance test on evaluate, etc.

Some advice for prospective test takers: Understanding timing consideration in GMAT is very important. Learning to quit and guess after a time limit (say 3 mins on a question) is very important. Also focus on the question at hand, do not think about the past question or the remaining questions or anything else for that matter. If you are not focused, you can mistake precent by for percent to, overlook or assume number properties ( interger, odd, even, positive etc.), miss important words in CR like some, most, never, etc. I limited my liquid intake during test not to be distracted by an urge to go to rest room during a section as I had this issue during practise tests. Some people advise drinking glucose, etc but pay attention to how it affects you during the pratice tests and see what works for you. The test does take a toll on your mind when you reach verbal, so build your stamina of enduring this test for 4 hours.

IR experience on real GMAT: As I am a slow reader, I had issues of timing on this section in GMAT Prep or MGMAT but the real GMAT IR was easy. Unfortunately I had 2 MSR prompts ( 6 questions in total from MSR) and the second MSR had big passages on two tabs so I had to guess on the second MSR prompt but I had a good attempt on the rest of the 9 questions.
Source: My GMAT journey (2 months prep) and Result (760, Q50, V44) : Share GMAT Experience

60-Day GMAT Study Guide : The 60-Day GMAT Study Guide - Daily E-mail GMAT Plan

Also check this
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Admin Abcd
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Smile Re: Is two months enough to prepare for GMAT? - May 27th, 2016

GMAT-(Graduation Management Admission Test)

GMAT is an English based test for use in admission to a graduate management program such as MBA. Here’s a brief overview of the test.


Duration of test :- 3 hours,30 mintutes
Validity:- 5 years
Score scale:- 800
Duration:- 90 days
Computer based test

Last edited by bhautik.kawa; May 28th, 2016 at 12:04 PM..
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