June 06, 2007
Strategy to tackle the GMAT

What I should do to tackle this test? Well, this weekend and part of this week I had the time to sit and think about it for a while, the first thing that I did is trying to figure out in which sections I feel stronger, and in which I don’t.

The sections that I feel that I am fine are: AWA and Reading Comprehension.

I have problems in the quantitative part, both Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency, and in the verbal part I have to work on Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning; I don’t feel that bad in the verbal part, but I have a lot to improve on.

But for each section I came up with a roadmap:


This has to be my main section for me to tackle since, I always had problems with math, and since I need to show a good math score, since the master that I am pursuing is a master in finance, which requires a lot of numerical skills. Here are some of the actions that I plan to take for the math section:

Summary of the most important concepts.
Study and come up with my own strategy for DS
Practice with OG and Test Magic.

For math the most important thing is practice, and for that what you need is time, since I know that after a while of putting my brain the math mood, I will be o.k.

There is a really good chance that I will include a math tutor in the preparation, since the math tutor that I once hired is really good and cheap, so for the hard questions, I think he can be tons of help!


I know that verbal can be the “it” factor, since a lot of people have really good math scores, so a good score in the verbal part can really help my score to get boosted. I have to take advantage of the fact, that even though English is not my native language, I am good with grammar rules (thanks to French also) so I have to work hard on this area, but since I love doing verbal things, I know that verbal won’t be so hard for me. Tons of work, of course, but not that hard at last.

Here are the actions that I plan to take on the verbal section:

Summary of the most important concepts.
Study Manhattan SC.
Practice with OG and Test Magic.
Take time every day and read some articles of different areas after lunch or in the morning bus.


I know this is not a very crucial section on the GMAT, and since I think that I am a good writer, my strategy for this section is fairly easy, just follow the instructions that I wrote on how to tackle this section some time ago and write one essay every two weeks on my blog to hear other people’s opinion about it, that would mean that at the end of the GMAT preparation (almost 3 months) I will have 3 essays of each type done, so I think that is more than a good preparation for that section. Anyway, if there is something that I learned about the GMAT is that in this section a lot of it comes into the subject that you get, if you are lucky to get a good subject, it’s easy, but if it is a horrible one, no matter how good you write, it will be harder to write something nice.

Here is the link to my AWA complete strategy:

Mistakes that I don’t want to repeat

If people are not able to learn from their old mistakes, there would be no point of making them... So what I don’t want to repeat from my old experience? Well, it’s easy, it would be not to expend too much time searching for information and making flashcards, I spend tooooo much time making that stupid mistake, and I don’t want to repeat it, so this time I am just going to focus on the OG, and Manhattan SC, and the other books I will take them as a backup, or as a strategy source, but the most important thing with this test as most tests is practice.

What I am planning to do different

Just yesterday, I read this phrase: “for a 7XX GMAT is a bit like training to go into space; one must strive for optimum mental and physical condition levels to best complete the mission. A key component to getting that extra 5-10% on T-day is to minimize stress by staying healthy and alert.” (I have a good amount of nice GMAT related phrases that I found; I will post them later on).

I think this phrase is totally right, so it is important to take it easy, not get too stressed with the test, and work with a good mindset. I paid for my Yoga and Meditation lessons, but I haven’t been able to take them yet, so I plan on taking them really soon, since I already paid for a whole quarter. Right now my painting lessons are helping me in a huge deal to relax and lay back.

I also plan to work on the concepts, because at least for me, if my concepts are clear things are easier for me, and I proved that theory during college where I always got very good grades.

Another important thing is that this time I am going to breath, sleep and dream with the OG, which is the key of success and the best way to get into the test mindset.

So in summary, my whole strategy will be focused in two main points: Strong Concepts & Practice OG.

Now, here is my GMAT Preparation schedule:

Being realistic, I know that I can’t start my preparation until this coming Sunday (June 10th), before that it would be really hard since I have to finish two paintings that I am working on and which have to be done by this coming Saturday, so I think that on Sunday, I will be able to study.

So the starting preparation date would be on June 10th, now, the final day, or the G-Day would be September 3rd, I think this would be a good date, and If I happen to have a bad result, (I hope not) I still have time to take it again. I tried to take the test maybe at the middle of august, but I know that between august 13 and august 27 I can’t take days away from work, because at that time we have the annual inventory, which is very important for us, and take it on august 10 is not good for me since I want to study more, and I don’t want to kill myself while doing so. Another reason to take the test at that moment is the fact that I will work on the application process at the same time.

Doing the math the total amount of days that I would have to study the GMAT would be 84.

So here is how I plan to split my preparation days.

SUBJECT # Days # Weeks
Math Concepts: 9 1,29
Verbal Concepts: 5 0,71
Manhattan Gmat: 7 1,00
Strategies from other books: 6 0,86
OG 10th and 11th edition: 50 7,14
Days I can’t because of work: 4 0,57
Free / Vacation days: 3 0,43
TOTAL 84 12

So by the second week of July I should be on the OG train already. I don’t want to set so strict dates, because I know that if you miss one, it is really easy to get discouraged, that is why I included 4 days that I can’t work because of my office and 3 vacation or free days! In those 3 vacation day, I have to take away that Sunday before the G-Day, since I don’t want to study before this test.
posted by Catalina at 6/06/2007, |


  At 6/13/2007 5:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said:
Como va la preparacion para el GMAT?

Hola, por ahi ni te acordas, soy Ramiro, yo hice (si, ya lo termine al fin) un mba y hablamos sobre el GMAT y esas cosas.

Creando mi blog (no se para que porque soy medio vago para usarlo), encontre el tuyo.

Espero que estes bien, y suerte con el mba. Ya estas aplicando a business schools? te vas para USA, o para donde?


Hola Ramiro,

Claro que me acuerdo de ti, justamente en estos dias estaba leyendo tu material sobre el proceso de aplicacion a un MBA.

La idea es aplicar a universidades en USA que tengan MBA de un año con concentracion en finanzas, y tambien a universidades europeas que tengan maestria en finanzas...

Y bueno que tal ese MBA? como te fue? regresas a Argentina o te quedas en USA?

Que chevere volver a oir de ti.

Saludos, Catalina.