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Prep time for the GRE/GMAT

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Jr Mouse, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. newinny

    newinny Senior member

    Messages:
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    First GMAT: 710
    Second GMAT: 760

    I spent way too much time on questions the first time around.
     
  2. nerdykarim

    nerdykarim Senior member

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    I took the GMAT in 2007 and didn't study. For the GMAT - brush up on geometry formulas and alegbra (FOIL, etc....). Ignore the verbal if your time is limited.

    Like Pio, I literally did not miss a question on the verbal part. Granted, I've always tested well and had just finished law school, but the verbal part is still easy. Doing geometry for the first time since high school? A little more difficult.


    Pretty much my story as well. Took it in law school. Studied for 1-2 hours a day for 10-12 days (mostly brushing up on math). Missed a couple questions but did very well overall.
     
  3. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    Probably 50% of GMAT takers are engineers. You will do just fine. It's you fuckers that blow the curve for us normal people in classes like fixed income securities and forecasting. Luckily there are things like marketing classes where we can kick your arses [​IMG]

    Probably 50% that take it are Indian IT guys that studied engineering. Seriously, it has to be the largest single pool of applicants. And they tend to score in the 50Q 35V range.

    The engineering guys in my program all aced stats and finance, but I don't know how many banged up marketing or MIS. Those classes are soft skill fluff. Soft batch style.
     
  4. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    I would say longer than 3 months and you have highly diminished returns (and possible burnout).

    I studied 2.5 months and scored gmat 770. Another month of studying would not have increased the score.

    I believe GRE has definitions/vocab? If so, I suppose you could argue that more time memorizing vocab could help there, but I have never studied for GRE.
     
  5. brimley

    brimley Senior member

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    Only took the GRE, did pretty well (650V/790Q/12W). One of my degrees was in math but it honestly didn't help that much. If you're going to look at math stuff, look at geometry, that's where you'll probably be weakest. The quant percentiles are skewed by the science people, 790 was only good for 89% when I took it. 650 V on the other hand was over 90%

    Verbal, I guess you could memorize words, but that's going to be a lot of work for not a whole lot of gain. Your call based on how you think you'll do.

    I would strongly suggest writing out a sample essay under time limits. You're going to be graded on narrow criteria: state a clear topic sentence in your intro paragraph, write a few paragraphs that have individual topic sentences and directly support your statement, summarize, etc. It doesn't have to be erudite shit.

    I think the main advantage of a prep course (besides the high school math review) would be if you're the kind of person who is anxious about tests.
     
  6. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    GRE verbal studying should strictly be vocab memorization and some reading comprehension practice (how to get through it v. quickly while gaining gist of passage). To score higher on the math I (the apparent retard of SF) would probably need a prep course.
     
  7. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Senior member

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    I didn't study at all for the GRE, scored a 730V, 670M, 5.5 writing section.

    I could have used a bit of review on the geometry and a few algebra things, would have bumped me up 50 points or so. The math was pretty straightforward, nothing that would surprise you if you remember your SAT math or did a decent amount of math through undergrad.

    The verbal is ridiculous compared to the SAT. I got an 800 SAT-V and I got to the point on the GRE where I didn't recognize any of the words on the screen, had never even seen them before and couldn't begin to guess what they meant. I have no idea what kind of mutant gets an 800V on the GRE, 730 was already 99th percentile. Not sure studying would really help that much, unless you're trying to get up to a 500 or something.

    Most people drop about 50-70 points from their SAT score to the GREs, mostly on the verbal section.


    That's because you're not "alpha as fuck." Axle not only knew all of the words, but actually introduced several of them into the English lexicon, including the words Chuck and Norris.
     
  8. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. To put it into context, I have about a month to a month and a half to study for the GMAT if I am going to have a good chance of getting into the program I am looking at. I did some light studying for it a few months ago, but didn't think going back to Grad school was a good idea at the time. Things have changed in my life and now I do.

    I am most concerned about math. It was never my strongest subject and I have not had many chances to apply it since graduation.

    At this point, the best I can do is give it a shot and see what happens. I'll either get the score I need or not. It's a short window, but I can't do anything about that now.

    To the guy who said that taking too much time to study can lead to diminishing returns, this is very true. I know a guy who studied for his GRE for over a year and bombed it. Smart guy, but due to the lack of urgency he only studied it casually.
     
  9. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    About 2 months for GRE about 8 years back. And this was when they had a *real* Analytical section with the good stuff (e.g. puzzles) and not the analytical writing crap they've got going these days.

    If you've a good vocabulary, and a grasp of basic middle/high school math, you don't need more than a month with the new format.
     
  10. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. To put it into context, I have about a month to a month and a half to study for the GMAT if I am going to have a good chance of getting into the program I am looking at. I did some light studying for it a few months ago, but didn't think going back to Grad school was a good idea at the time. Things have changed in my life and now I do.

    I am most concerned about math. It was never my strongest subject and I have not had many chances to apply it since graduation.

    At this point, the best I can do is give it a shot and see what happens. I'll either get the score I need or not. It's a short window, but I can't do anything about that now.

    To the guy who said that taking too much time to study can lead to diminishing returns, this is very true. I know a guy who studied for his GRE for over a year and bombed it. Smart guy, but due to the lack of urgency he only studied it casually.


    Are you meeting a March 1 application deadline? It's not really enough time to both study, take the GMAT and do your applications. You should be spending at least a month on your applications alone.

    Unless of course, you are applying for a very specific program and you know they don't care about the application (i.e. local, work-sponsored, part-time, all they care about is the GMAT,etc)
     
  11. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    Are you meeting a March 1 application deadline? It's not really enough time to both study, take the GMAT and do your applications. You should be spending at least a month on your applications alone. Unless of course, you are applying for a very specific program and you know they don't care about the application (i.e. local, work-sponsored, part-time, all they care about is the GMAT,etc)
    +1 If I could go back and redo all of my essays, I would have done all of my essays differently. I learned if you want to go to a top school, make sure you have realistic goals. If you tell them you want to go into private equity, you're immediately red-flagged unless you're a HYP, Goldman analyst type. They have one goal in mind: making sure you are employed after 21 months. If you want investment banking from a non-finance role, tell them you want corporate finance and support that. You can change your mind once you're in and the admissions group will see you as vastly more employable.
     
  12. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    OP, why not just take a GMAT or GRE practice test and see where you stand. If you score decently in either you wouldn't need a great deal of studying to sharpen up.
     
  13. CunningSmeagol

    CunningSmeagol Senior member

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    If you didn't take the LSAT, I wouldn't ignore verbal. My favorite way to practice CR is to look at poasts on SF.net and find the leaps of logic. To wit:
    Which of the following statements, if true, most seriously undermines FLMM's bolded conclusion: A) The GMAT was given only on Saturdays in 2007. B) FLMM did not end up going to b-school. C) If you are having trouble with geometry, you will not see the harder math problems, like combinatorics and rate/work stuff. D) If you find the verbal section easy, you will find the math section even easier. E) I usually agree with FLMM, but not now. I agree that taking the LSAT makes the verbal part much easier, I think due to the fact that on the LSAT you're training yourself to answer 4 RC passages in around 7 mins each, and the GMAT assumes a longer time will be spent on these. Sentence correction can literally be done in 30 secs per problem and you have on avg 2 mins to complete all the verbal questions. I didn't notice a huge difference in difficulties of args and RC across LSAT and GMAT. I just think with LSAT you're shooting for a much higher standard b/c the raw intelligence of the applicant pool is a bit higher. For the OP, take both and official gmat prep test and get a Manhattan GMAT book (there are 8 of them on different topics, very focused, about $20 each). The MGMAT book comes with access to 6 computer adaptive tests, and these have very detailed explanations of the questions you get wrong. They are also much harder than the real thing, which is good for practice.
     
  14. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Are you meeting a March 1 application deadline? It's not really enough time to both study, take the GMAT and do your applications. You should be spending at least a month on your applications alone.

    Unless of course, you are applying for a very specific program and you know they don't care about the application (i.e. local, work-sponsored, part-time, all they care about is the GMAT,etc)


    I have a specific program in mind. It's very unique in its focus and in an almost perfect match for my career goals. Other schools are looking into offering similar MBA programs, but as of right now it's only being offered by one school.

    It would be a make it or break it situation for me. I will either ace the GMAT in the time I have left or I won't. Same thing with the application process. Because I didn't take my Undergraduate as seriously as I should have, my GPA was not strong. To get in, I will need a strong GMAT score and an application that can really sell myself.

    As I said, my time is extremely limited. I want to stay positive and believe I can make it, but I am also realistic that I just may not have enough time to accomplish my goal here. If I don't make it in, I could also try again next year. Plus, by then I may find additional Grad programs of interest.
     
  15. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    If you didn't take the LSAT, I wouldn't ignore verbal. My favorite way to practice CR is to look at poasts on SF.net and find the leaps of logic. To wit:



    Which of the following statements, if true, most seriously undermines FLMM's bolded conclusion:

    A) The GMAT was given only on Saturdays in 2007.
    B) FLMM did not end up going to b-school.
    C) If you are having trouble with geometry, you will not see the harder math problems, like combinatorics and rate/work stuff.
    D) If you find the verbal section easy, you will find the math section even easier.
    E) I usually agree with FLMM, but not now.

    I agree that taking the LSAT makes the verbal part much easier, I think due to the fact that on the LSAT you're training yourself to answer 4 RC passages in around 7 mins each, and the GMAT assumes a longer time will be spent on these. Sentence correction can literally be done in 30 secs per problem and you have on avg 2 mins to complete all the verbal questions.

    I didn't notice a huge difference in difficulties of args and RC across LSAT and GMAT. I just think with LSAT you're shooting for a much higher standard b/c the raw intelligence of the applicant pool is a bit higher.

    For the OP, take both and official gmat prep test and get a Manhattan GMAT book (there are 8 of them on different topics, very focused, about $20 each). The MGMAT book comes with access to 6 computer adaptive tests, and these have very detailed explanations of the questions you get wrong. They are also much harder than the real thing, which is good for practice.


    How'd you do on RC on the LSAT (and when did you take it)? I found the RC on the LSAT vastly more difficult - more dense, harder questions, trickier answers.
     
  16. newinny

    newinny Senior member

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    I learned if you want to go to a top school, make sure you have realistic goals. If you tell them you want to go into private equity, you're immediately red-flagged unless you're a HYP, Goldman analyst type. They have one goal in mind: making sure you are employed after 21 months. If you want investment banking from a non-finance role, tell them you want corporate finance and support that. You can change your mind once you're in and the admissions group will see you as vastly more employable.

    +100000

    You need to put an achievable goal/plan in your application so that they believe they will be able to keep up their placement percentages.
     
  17. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    I have a specific program in mind. It's very unique in its focus and in an almost perfect match for my career goals. Other schools are looking into offering similar MBA programs, but as of right now it's only being offered by one school.

    It would be a make it or break it situation for me. I will either ace the GMAT in the time I have left or I won't. Same thing with the application process. Because I didn't take my Undergraduate as seriously as I should have, my GPA was not strong. To get in, I will need a strong GMAT score and an application that can really sell myself.

    As I said, my time is extremely limited. I want to stay positive and believe I can make it, but I am also realistic that I just may not have enough time to accomplish my goal here. If I don't make it in, I could also try again next year. Plus, by then I may find additional Grad programs of interest.


    "I will either ace the GMAT in the time I have left or I won't. Same thing with the application process. "

    Is this a full-time program? Honestly this sounds like a recipe for disaster. If you bomb the GMAT, you will have to take it again. Admissions will see any and all scores you have ever scored.

    If you write crappy essays, get rejected, and apply again next year, you will have to explain what you did during the year in order to strengthen your app. "well, I uh took the gmat again and scored 20 more points" is not a good answer.
     
  18. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan Senior member

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    If you didn't take the LSAT, I wouldn't ignore verbal. My favorite way to practice CR is to look at poasts on SF.net and find the leaps of logic. To wit:



    Which of the following statements, if true, most seriously undermines FLMM's bolded conclusion:

    A) The GMAT was given only on Saturdays in 2007.
    B) FLMM did not end up going to b-school.
    C) If you are having trouble with geometry, you will not see the harder math problems, like combinatorics and rate/work stuff.
    D) If you find the verbal section easy, you will find the math section even easier.
    E) I usually agree with FLMM, but not now.

    I agree that taking the LSAT makes the verbal part much easier, I think due to the fact that on the LSAT you're training yourself to answer 4 RC passages in around 7 mins each, and the GMAT assumes a longer time will be spent on these. Sentence correction can literally be done in 30 secs per problem and you have on avg 2 mins to complete all the verbal questions.

    I didn't notice a huge difference in difficulties of args and RC across LSAT and GMAT. I just think with LSAT you're shooting for a much higher standard b/c the raw intelligence of the applicant pool is a bit higher.

    For the OP, take both and official gmat prep test and get a Manhattan GMAT book (there are 8 of them on different topics, very focused, about $20 each). The MGMAT book comes with access to 6 computer adaptive tests, and these have very detailed explanations of the questions you get wrong. They are also much harder than the real thing, which is good for practice.


    WTF are you talking about? I earned my MBA from FSU in '08.
    I took the test on a Saturday, and I'm not sure where I said I took it another time. Did you read my post as saying I literally went from a law school class to the test? No, I meant I had just finished law school. Why the hell would just finishing a law school leave me more mentally prepared for a test? I'd think the opposite.

    Scored in the 70th percentile on the math part, so you're right, I probably didn't see the harder part. And you obviously know more about the test than me, so I'll give you that. But implying you caught me in some sort of lie is completely off-base.
     
  19. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    WTF are you talking about? I earned my MBA from FSU in '08.
    I took the test on a Saturday, and I'm not sure where I said I took it another time. Did you read my post as saying I literally went from a law school class to the test? No, I meant I had just finished law school. Why the hell would just finishing a law school leave me more mentally prepared for a test? I'd think the opposite.

    Scored in the 70th percentile on the math part, so you're right, I probably didn't see the harder part. And you obviously know more about the test than me, so I'll give you that. But implying you caught me in some sort of lie is completely off-base.


    Haha, he said the answer was C (assuming that means the other answers are all not true).
     
  20. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    "I will either ace the GMAT in the time I have left or I won't. Same thing with the application process. "

    Is this a full-time program? Honestly this sounds like a recipe for disaster. If you bomb the GMAT, you will have to take it again. Admissions will see any and all scores you have ever scored.

    If you write crappy essays, get rejected, and apply again next year, you will have to explain what you did during the year in order to strengthen your app. "well, I uh took the gmat again and scored 20 more points" is not a good answer.


    +1 on all of this. I considered taking a year off and just drudging through my job (although it would have been a tough sell as I had to have my current boss write me a recommendation). In the end, I decided that a slightly lower ranked school with loads of $$ in a city I love was worth it.
     

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