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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

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    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.

    I applied this past spring and only one school requested past exam results.
     
  2. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Senior member Dubiously Honored

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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.


    It's a full time program. I doubt I would "bomb" the test, but I may not get as high of a score as I would like (i.e. good enough to help compensate for my Undergrad GPA) the first time. From what I have heard and understand people often don't do as well as they would like the first time and retake it. Is it that bad of a red mark on your record if you don't get a high score the first time around? Wouldn't they be more concerned with your latest and hopefully improved score?

    I'm not that worried about the essay. Certainly don't think it will come out "crappy." Several of my friends who got into good Grad schools are going to help me with it.

    Not trying to argue with your points here. Again, I don't have experience with this process. So if I am missing something, please let me know.
     
  3. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    I applied this past spring and only one school requested past exam results.

    When you send them an official score report, all past scores are on the report.
     
  4. CunningSmeagol

    CunningSmeagol 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.
    Dude, I made all the statements you're responding to to be deliberately misleading. Except for the part that you're agreeing to, which was the answer.
     
  5. CunningSmeagol

    CunningSmeagol Senior member

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    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.

    I think I got them all (2005), but I also think I got all the GMAT ones. My LSAT, though, was easier than most, i.e. I'm sure MANY people got all the RC questions right. Once you missed only a few questions you were down to low 170s on that curve. The scale skipped a bunch of mid 170 scores b/c the test was so easy.

    You might be right that LSAT RC is harder than the GMAT version. My comparison isn't all that valid considering there were 5 or so years between taking the two. The MCAT also has RC right? I remember helping a buddy with that and just pointing him to the more difficult LSAT study materials.
     
  6. bananananana

    bananananana Senior member

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    It's a full time program. I doubt I would "bomb" the test, but I may not get as high of a score as I would like (i.e. good enough to help compensate for my Undergrad GPA) the first time. From what I have heard and understand people often don't do as well as they would like the first time and retake it. Is it that bad of a red mark on your record if you don't get a high score the first time around? Wouldn't they be more concerned with your latest and hopefully improved score?

    I'm not that worried about the essay. Certainly don't think it will come out "crappy." Several of my friends who got into good Grad schools are going to help me with it.

    Not trying to argue with your points here. Again, I don't have experience with this process. So if I am missing something, please let me know.


    What school and program? The other thing to keep in mind is that some programs are very insecure about themselves and want applicants who have done their homework and networking with that program.
     
  7. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    I think I got them all (2005), but I also think I got all the GMAT ones. My LSAT, though, was easier than most, i.e. I'm sure MANY people got all the RC questions right. Once you missed only a few questions you were down to low 170s on that curve. The scale skipped a bunch of mid 170 scores b/c the test was so easy.

    You might be right that LSAT RC is harder than the GMAT version. My comparison isn't all that valid considering there were 5 or so years between taking the two. The MCAT also has RC right? I remember helping a buddy with that and just pointing him to the more difficult LSAT study materials.


    I wonder which exam it was. I took all of them from 2000-2009 during my practice period. I hated that damned thing. Mine was Sept 09 and it wasn't super hard but not easy either. I think -9 was a 170.
     
  8. CunningSmeagol

    CunningSmeagol Senior member

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    What school and program? The other thing to keep in mind is that some programs are very insecure about themselves and want applicants who have done their homework and networking with that program.

    Which ones? Haas comes to mind, but I can't think of any others. Maybe Cornell/Yale?
     
  9. the shah

    the shah Senior member

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    So in answer, GRE you should be able to not even study.

    that about sums it up.
     
  10. bananananana

    bananananana Senior member

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    Yes haas. Stern also. CBS to some extent. Never really looked at cornell and yale so don't know.
     
  11. EMY

    EMY Senior member

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    I "studied" for about 2 months. I just went over vocab. The day I took the real test was the first time I completed a full test.
     
  12. Flambeur

    Flambeur Senior member

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    Took GMAT/GRE/LSAT. I think that 8-12 weeks is what you need in order to realize your full realistic potential . GMAT math can be tricky, GRE verbal (vocab!!!) is a pain, and LSAT logic games and some of the harder questions can be tough. All three can be mastered into 95th percentile combined pretty easily if you have enough time, perhaps much higher than that..
     
  13. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    Took GMAT/GRE/LSAT. I think that 8-12 weeks is what you need in order to realize your full realistic potential . GMAT math can be tricky, GRE verbal (vocab!!!) is a pain, and LSAT logic games and some of the harder questions can be tough. All three can be mastered into 95th percentile combined pretty easily if you have enough time, perhaps much higher than that..


    If you have the ability to get there. I think this is true if you were able to get into the 95th percentile or higher on other standardized testing. So if you cranked out a 1350+ on the SATs or a 32+ on the ACT then a 167 LSAT, 720 GMAT, or 1400 GRE is possible with 2-3 months of study time.
     
  14. Flambeur

    Flambeur Senior member

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    If you have the ability to get there. I think this is true if you were able to get into the 95th percentile or higher on other standardized testing. So if you cranked out a 1350+ on the SATs or a 32+ on the ACT then a 167 LSAT, 720 GMAT, or 1400 GRE is possible with 2-3 months of study time.

    I'm not sure if it's the chicken or the egg, but yeah I guess I agree.
     
  15. pkblaze100

    pkblaze100 Member

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    Jun 1, 2011
    I just wrapped my MBA but thought I would share my prep plan for the GMAT. I have about a dozen friends and people online who have used it with generally high success (lowest score is a 700, highest is a 790). The strategy is for people who aren't having trouble per se just want a good prep plan without taking a class. If people want I can also add details of what to do if you are having a trouble (helped my friend go from a ~550 to 740)

    My "nums": Overall - 770, Q:50, V46

    Time required - 5 weeks for steps 1-6, 1 week intense or 2/3 weeks normal for steps 7-13

    Materials you need
    1) Princeton Review
    2) Kaplan Premier
    3) Kaplan 800
    4) Offical Guide (All three books)
    7) The replica of the pad & pen (they sell the Manhattan GMAT one on Amazon for like $20 - GET IT don't skimp on this)
    Optional Materials
    1) A Manhattan GMAT book focusing on the area you are having the most trouble with (for most people this is the Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction book)

    DO NOT START WITH A PRACTICE EXAM - The idea that Kaplan/Princeton use of starting with an exam to see where you are weak is silly you need to have a good basis of knowledge and understanding of the exam to accurately understand the material you are weak in

    Step 1: complete Princeton Review book - read everything, do all practice problems (skip exams)
    Step 2: complete Kaplan Premier Book - read any new materials & strategies and do all problems (skip exams)
    Step 3: complete Kaplan 800 book (skip exams)
    Step 4: Take practice Exam #1. Use one of the real ones you downloaded from the GMAT site. (You downloaded them right?)
    Step 5: Review and redo the hardest 10% of the problems from both Kaplan books in the areas you were weakest in
    Step 6: Finish the big OG . Use different time frames and challanges to get used to pressure (ex: 5 easy questions in 2 minutes, 5 hard in 5 minutes, take 5 problems and give yourself 10 seconds less on each one (60, 50, 40 30...secs). Pay attention to what you get wrong and look for trends. You're weaknesses will show up better under harsher practice conditions

    (note that steps 7 onwards i did during a week off so they are more daily plans)
    Step 7 - Take Practice exam #2. REDO the same real one you took before (only 2-3 of the problems will be repeats, and you probably won't remember them anyways)
    Step 8: Practice exam #3 - I used the one in the Princeton book. Also do 60 practice questions from the two smaller OG books
    Step 9: Practice exam #4 - I used test #2 from the web. Also do 60 practice questions from the two smaller OG books
    Step 10: 120 questions from the OG books
    Step 11: Practice Exam #5 - I used one form Kaplan 800 I think. Also do 60 practice questions from the two smaller OG books
    Step 12: Practice Exam #6 - Retake #2 from the web. Also do 60 practice questions from the two smaller OG books
    Step 13: Day before exam - Take it relatively easy - 5-10 questions from each section, 5-10 extra in your weakest section (like 1-1.5 hours of work) and then go to sleep so you get a normal nights worth before the next day. Set your damned alarm, the backup alarm and your cell phone. Let not take the chance that you sleep too late.

    TEST DAY - if you have a morning exam wake up VERY early & chill out for a bit. If you have some time about 2 hours before you leave do 15-20 total questions from every type of problem to get the mental juices flowing. Get ready, grab your stuff. Did you grab your wallet & ID? Walk back inside get your wallet - no your corporate ID doesn't count as official ID - grab that drivers license/passport etc. Now you can go to your exam. Leave way early - did I hear you complain that you'll arrive an hour early if you leave now? My test center let me start 25 minutes early and you want to make sure that anything short of a meteor strike won't make you late. Grab a snack & drink for your breaks on the way (I used a vitamin water and protein bar - ate half of the bar each break and drank as much as I felt comfortable with).
     
  16. Rugger

    Rugger Senior member

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    Since this thread has more replies than the others....

    What does the membership think about taking a prep course vice studying at home? Or perhaps taking the course to get spun up and then studying at home? I'm not in a time crunch in terms of applying...just want to start to lay out some groundwork on preparation. Any recommendations?
     
  17. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Texas.
    It just depends how much discipline you have. If you are the type than can force yourself to work, then I'd say the prep course is a waste of money. Online, there are a ton of tests available, free if you have no qualms with using torrent sites. I prepared 3 months for mine, going through four prep books (purchased) and taking over 30 complete tests (minus the essays). The test itself felt like a walk in the park; I wasn't even exhausted after finishing (and since I took the computer based test, I had to take an extra quantitative section). I did obscenely well on the verbal and quant (169/170 and 168/170...sorry for bragging but I only got the scores back a week ago so still feeling the elation [​IMG]). This was the second time I took it...I also had taken it three years ago, with about a month of prep time. I didn't take it anywhere near as seriously and my scores reflected it (I don't remember the scores, but the percentiles were 95% for verbal and 60% quantitative).

    The one area it might be nice to get some outside feedback on are essays. I didn't practice mine at all (the last time I had taken it I did very well on them), and ended up with a 4.5 writing score. So...mistake on my part.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

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