GMAT Prep: Week 3

If everything is going fine with your preparation and we have been honest and hard working, we should be pretty comfortable with the GMAT format by now. By now you have a fair idea of all types of questions that are asked on the GMAT. Also you know what your strengths and weaknesses are. This week we will take it up a notch higher. We will dive in depth into Sentence Correction (SC). In fact we will finish the Manhattan’s Sentence Correction book, which is a MUST buy. We will also solve the corresponding set of problems from the Official Guide. Manhattan’s SC has a list of OG questions at the end of each chapter which are relevant to that topic, very useful.


DAY 15

GOAL:

TIME:

  • One session of 4 hours

ACTION:

  • Finish “Sentence Correction Basics” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour
  • Finish “Grammar, Meaning, Concision” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour

DAY 16

GOAL:

TIME:

  • One session of 4 hours

ACTION:

  • Finish “Subject-Verb” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour
  • Finish “Parallelism” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour

DAY 17

GOAL:

TIME:

  • One session of 4 hours

ACTION:

  • Finish “Pronouns” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour
  • Finish “Modifiers” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour

Quick Tips

  • Do the rough work on the blank sheets and write down the answers in the diary/journal.
  • Put proper dates, heading, book’s name + Section name on the top of your journal entry.
  • Write down the score and the accuracy percentage.
  • Analyse each answer with utmost care and keep jotting down any stuff which you have learnt (there has to plenty of them). Make a habit of taking down notes.
  • Write down all the silly mistakes you did on the post-its and finally, stick them on the black chart paper which you should stick to the wall in front of you.

DAY 18

GOAL:

TIME:

  • One session of 4 hours

ACTION:

  • Finish “Veb, Tense, Mood & Voice” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour
  • Finish “Comparisons” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour

DAY 19

GOAL:

TIME:

  • One session of 4 hours

ACTION:

  • Finish “Idioms” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour
  • Finish “Odds & Ends” from SC Manhattan – 1 Hour
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 1 Hour

DAY 20

GOAL:

TIME:

  • Two Sessions of 4 hours each. Total 8 Hours.

ACTION:

  • Finish “GMC/S-V/Parallelism: Advanced” from SC Manhattan – 1.5 Hours
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 2.5 Hours
  • Finish “Pronouns & Modifiers: Advanced” from SC Manhattan – 1.5 Hours
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 2.5 Hours

DAY 21

GOAL:

TIME:

  • Two Sessions of 4  hours each. Total 8 hours.

ACTION:

  • Finish “Verbs & Comparisons: Advanced” from SC Manhattan – 1.5 Hours
  • Solve the corresponding problems from OG – 2.5 Hours
  • Revise notes. Go through the harder problems once again. Analyse, make notes. Basically tighten the loose ends – 4 Hours

SUMMARY

So this week you finished SC manhattan and also the OG SC section. This is great. Keep it going!

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11 Comments

  1. After tons of research on the net, I decided to go with this plan for my GMAT prep. I think it is well organized, uses the best preparation materials, and is logically constructed. It is the best plan I could find on the Internet. I am on “Day 19,” although it has been more than 19 days since I started my prep. I have followed the plan to the letter including the calendar with test date indicated in horrible color, stickies that indicate my test date, poster board for stickies in front of my desk, notebooks for the notes and score logs, and performance grid. I have every single book mentioned in the plan.

    All things considered, this is an amazing plan, but I would like to let people know a few things up front before they schedule their test and start plowing through the material using this plan. First, the times indicated for the sessions are not nearly sufficient for an average person to get through the required material, especially if you are really analyzing the answer explanations after having done the practice problems. I am basically studying morning, day and night and am still far behind schedule. I find it impossible to do the amount of work in the given time frame. Getting through the Kaplan Premier book took me much longer than what was indicated. 4 hours each for the 3 quant sections is not enough. Presumably you will split the quant section of the Kaplan Premier book into three sessions using the chapters as breaking points. That would mean you would do the Math Refresher, Problem Solving, and Data Sufficiency chapters within 3 days studying 4 hours each day. It could easily take you 8 hours to get through each of these chapters. This is only one example. I have found it difficult to get through most of the work within the indicated time frames.

    Also, how could you possibly take a practice test, analyze it, and revise weaker areas within 3.5 hours? The test alone takes that long! You should take the test one day and then give yourself a 3 or 4 hour session the next day to break it down. If the person who created this plan really completed the indicated sessions in the indicated time frames, I believe they are an exceptionally fast worker or they were skimming, scanning, and not really taking detailed notes and analyzing the answer explanations.

    If you work slowly or if you are just average, I would suggest building in more time for each session. At the minimum scheduling your test 4 or 5 months from Day 1 will build in some “shit happens” time and time for when those sessions take much longer than indicated and you get behind schedule.

    Second, the Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction Guide is structured so that you first go through all the chapters at a basic level and practice the corresponding easy and medium level problems from the Official Guides, and then you progress to advance study of the concepts in later chapters and do the corresponding difficult problems from the Official Guides. According to this plan, you never make it to those advanced chapters within the MGMAT SC guide. Keep this in mind as you modify this plan to fit your needs.

    Finally, keep in mind that this guide incorporates neither the “Fractions, Decimals, and Percents” nor the “Geometry” guide from Manhattan GMAT. It also does not incorporate the math section from Kaplan 800. It does not have you do the quant problems a second time from the Official Guides and it fails to leverage the Manhattan GMAT CATs that come with your purchase of the guides.

    All in all, I think this plan is excellent. The author has provided a great service to GMAT students all over. I don’t want to downplay the value of his achievements or contributions whatsoever. However, I do think the plan is slightly weighted towards verbal preparation and assumes a pace of study that is unachievable and unsustainable for most average people. You may want to modify it to fit your needs especially if you are weaker in quant than verbal and if you know you study at an average or slow pace.

    • Hey Heel289!

      Thank you so much for the awesome post. At first I thought it was a spam. I showed this to my wife and she said to thank you and invite you over for dinner.

      I would like to take this opportunity to tell everyone who visits the site, that everything you have said in your comment is true. And you know what, the reason you are so spot on is because you have been ACTUALLY following the plan. Kudos!

      Okay, so here is the deal. It is a very difficult schedule. But then it makes you aware of the fact that there is so much to study and so little time. If it is not doable in 3 months, then you must be prepared for 5 months maybe.

      It is impossible to make one schedule to fit all. A simple expansion of the schedule will result in a 6 months schedule. Or whatever time frame you are looking at. So you do not necessarily have to follow the same pace. But I am sorry if this looks to over whelming. I understand.

      It is a bit verbal weighted, because I honestly feel, the law of diminishing returns starts to kick in very soon for quants and is not worth all the extra effort. You are and most GMAT takers should put an extra emphasis on Verbal.

      The practise test is smaller I believe and that’s why the 3.5 hours. But what you suggest is valid otherwise.

      I did not understand your point about the Manhattan SC advanced concepts. I believe I am covering all the chapters here till the end. And at the end of each chapter we are doing the corresponding OG problems? Am I missing something. Please comment.

      This guide was made for people like you. For you. The only thing remaining is “by you”. I promise I will incorporate changes. There will be corrections. And I will certainly add footnotes to make them flexible.

      All in all timing is not really an issue. That’s the easiest thing to tweak. But I guess what’s worrying is if I am leaving certain areas out. Do you think if I can make it four months, it will be more reasonable. I will see to it that you are using the materials much more exhaustively. Like you said Kaplan 800 maths section. That is so true. Let me work on the schedule once again, and lemme know how it looks.

      You know it’s not my job or it’s not even a money making thing for me, but people like you inspire me in turn to render my services, because I know there are people who value my suggestions and can help me help them.

      Thank you! And for the rest of the junta, this is the kind of dedication and collaboration is what I am talking about.

      All the best. Keep in touch!

  2. Mukul,

    The Manhattan SC Guide 4th Edition has 14 chapters split into 2 parts (Part 1 is General and Part 2 is Advanced). You have covered chapters 1 through 10 within the plan. Chapter 14 is simply the Official Guide List and Matrix, but Chapters 11-13 cover advanced strategies for the topics covered in the previous chapters. Chapter 11 covers grammar, meaning, concision, subject-verb agreement, and parallelism. Chapter 12 covers pronouns and modifiers. Chapter 13 covers verbs and comparisons. Those chapters give advanced strategies, an “in action” problem set, and then the corresponding difficult level problem list from the Official Guides. Any student who wants to reach the upper echelons of the GMAT verbal section should probably pay special attention to those chapters after having mastered the basics. And to answer your question, yes I am solving the problems from the Official Guides listed at the end of each chapter.

    I do think a 4 month time frame would be a little more appropriate. Thankfully, I am scheduled to take the GMAT on August 4th, so I still have about 104 days. However, I did tweak your plan to incorporate the other two Manhattan Quant guides as well as the Quant section from Kaplan 800. I am about 85-90% accurate across all verbal areas and have been so from day 1. Verbal is my strength. It is somewhat natural for me. I scored in the 96% percentile on my first practice test in verbal. It is my quant that really needs improvement. I have a long way to go to score in the upper 80th or lower 90th percentiles in quant. I’m hoping that I will be prepared after NOVA, the 5 Manhattan Guides (with corresponding Official Guide problems, and Kaplan 800.

    The only thing I feel like I am missing at this point is a way to get additional practice on specific types of problems I am weakest at solving correctly. I do a chapter in Manhattan GMAT SC for example. I solve the associated OG problems and then analyze my correct and incorrect problems using the answer explanations. But that’s it. I wish I could then drill myself to hammer home the concept or skill I just screwed up. But I can’t envision how that would work without using some sort of online adaptive technology such as the system Knewton uses.

    I think you have done a wonderful job putting this plan and site together. Congratulations on your acceptance to Tuck. I have a friend who went there and loved it! I have never heard anything but great things from the alumni and faculty there. I’m sure you will have an incredible experience! I am definitely considering applying there either this fall or next. Who knows? Maybe we’ll meet there in person! People like you make me even more excited about business school. Just think of all the incredible people who are a lot like you in some ways and way different in others that you are about to meet!

    I converted your online plan into an organized pdf. I also mapped out your plan with my tweaks in calendar format in a sheet within the excel workbook I use as my performance grid. I ended up customizing the “Awesome Error Log 3.0 by Spoilt and Trianglock from Gmat Club. I customized their end product to incorporate quant and verbal sub area stats and customized the database as well. If you are interested in either of these, which would allow you to see how I broke down your plan, added to it, and spread it over 4 months, just let me know and I can email it to you or post it somewhere on the net for you to download.

    I’ll let you know how this turns out. Try to remember to post back to this after August 4th in case I forget. That way if I score near my target score (730), I can post a raving review of how incredible your plan is! Then once I get into a top MBA program, I’ll try to remember to come back and post that too and thank you for all your help in my MBA admissions journey.

    P.S. You should see my house. I have stickies all over with Aug. 4th written on them and also stickies all over with 730 on them! One of my friends always used to say, “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.” I’m hoping to create some great luck!

    • Yeah I just realized that I was looking at the older edition of SC Manhattan. They used to have lot less back then. Went to amazon to sneak peek at their new one, and yes they do have advanced sections.

      I am going to create a brand new Prep schedule based on your feedback. It will take care of the new editions. I am also going to incorporate the other two Manhattan math guides as it makes sense to buy the entire set.

      Another thing is I am going to revamp this schedule based on phases rather than months or weeks. It will be easier to tweak then. I got some feedback from my wife, who is also a Tepper Grad. Now it looks good and much achievable with a 4 months time frame.

      I am hoping to drop the Nova Quants initially and add the Manhattan guides to the initial “building phase”. It’s gonna be too much work, but I am hoping for the better.

      Thanks for your kind words and surely you can email me the docs/trackers/schedules you have created. I will share them with others.

      You know, the thing you said about meeting me in person, actually it can totally happen. Someone was following this website and keeping me posted just like you. And you know what, he is in going to be in Tuck with me! He was so excited to see me in the admitted list. It was a great feeling. It’s something teachers/mentors dream of.

      Sharing is so much fun and satisfying. So share! And like it on FB if you really like it. It will help the website.

      Cheers!

  3. I was wondering…is there a reason you left out the data sufficiency portion of the NOVA book? I haven’t made it that far yet but was wondering if I should do that chapter as well. It includes elimination, unwarranted assumptions/tricky problems, checking extreme cases and 3 problem sets along with answers/explanations. DS is by far my worst section. I’m at about 81% accuracy overall for PS and a bleak, depressing 42% overall for DS. But is there a specific reason it was left out? Maybe you feel it is not of good quality and therefore not worth the time?

    Here is a link to the files I mentioned. I figured it would be easier and would avoid broadcasting your email address to the world.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?5oa5gukic62p3

    • Oh and I modified that excel spreadsheet on a mac so I don’t know how the formatting will come through and the macros will not work.

      • Yeah…its not so good in that book. And Kaplan 800 is the best book for DS. But now as you might have noticed I have changed the schedule and made Manhattan strategy guides the basic books. They cover everything and are not a burden on students. I did not recommend them earlier becuz of budget reasons. But as I can see that people are game to buy 5 books instead of one, be it then.

        Thanks for the file. Havent checked it yet. and thanks again for the inputs! Spread the link if you liked it.

        M

  4. Hey Mukul

    Firstly, thanks a ton for coming up with such a clear and informative blog. It certainly helps people like me who are searching for validated + transparent guidance for GMAT. 🙂
    I would like to know what all did you cover in the daily 4 hours’ study period. As an example, if relating to current week, what I can understand is:
    1. Two MGMAT SC chapters + their exercises + exercise analysis
    2. (OG12 + Verbal Review) questions mentioned in MGMAT SC.
    However, I am struggling in including OG/VR answers analysis + error log update in the 4 hours’ time.

    Any guidance/pointers on how to manage my time well or something which I am missing would be sincerely appreciated.

    You are doing a great job and wish you luck for future endeavors.

    Cheers!

    • That is something you have to work hard on. Some people are able to do it, some are not. you will get there. Just keep pushing yourself in that direction.
      Dont day dream during study sessions. Keep your focus.

      M

  5. Hey Mukul, I’m finishing my third week of preparation.I’m a little ahead of your schedule(2 days) but I didn’t skip any of the chapters/exercises your have in your plan. I think it’s a quite doable schedule and the time/day is appropriate.At least for me to this point.
    Thanks for a great plan.

  6. Hi Mukul ,

    i went through all the chapters in manhatan sc , but i find i am doing mistakes a lot in sc . because the sentences are all too long in sc .Can u please help me out in this regard i am getting only 4 correct out 10 . I am lil depressed about this . how to improve my score in sc .
    waiting for reply .
    thanks in advance
    Manju

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