Thorough review is critical to the learning process and for most people should take a significant amount of time (and effort!) potentially equally or surpassing the amount of time taken to do the question set.
- Redo questions that you got wrong or struggled on without looking at the answers or explanations. Think. Rethink. Push yourself. Put pen to paper. Don’t review with only your eyes!
- Once you’ve solved or if you aren’t able to solve in about 10 minutes carefully review the explanation (if provided). Again, put pen to paper and redo the question along with the explanation.
- If we haven’t provided an explanation or if our explanation didn’t clear up your doubts google the first few words of the question and confirm the solution on the GMAT forums.
- Except for CR and RC, take a screenshot and add it to your dropbox review folder so you can easily revisit the question when assigned review in your HW schedule.
- Bring questions that you still find difficult to QA or to our sessions. For sessions add the screenshots to the “review in session” folder in your dropbox.
If reviewing a quiz at a later date best to click on the quiz and click through the answers to the review page. You can also review by clicking on “statistics” but, especially for verbal, the formatting won’t be ideal.
Missed an assignment? Panic! Just kidding. It’s OK. Here are some suggestions for moving forward:
- From most important down, Review > Targeted Sets > Mixed Sets. If you absolutely have to skip something mixed sets are your best bet. This isn’t license to skip mixed sets. They aren’t optional. During pre-tutoring the Critical Reasoning work is most important.
- If you missed a targeted set on a Monday, say Exponents 1, and have Exponents 2 assigned on Tuesday go back and do Exponents 1 first. Unless otherwise instructed do targeted sets sequentially.
- Unless you have tons of time for rest and review between quizzes, avoid doubling up on sets to catch up on missed HW. Instead, just let us know that you’ve missed a few things (we’ll probably already know) and we’ll re-assign the work.
- If there’s a duplicate set assigned (Ratios 1 assigned on Tuesday and Friday) go ahead and do the next sequential set (Ratios 2). Don’t use this as an excuse for a day off:).
- Let us manage the schedule (avoid modifying yourself). Just let us know if there’s a change in your availability that requires an update and we’ll take care of it.
To have the greatest impact on your score do all HW and review as assigned to the highest quality of which you are capable. We’ve calculated, tried, tested, refined, reflected, and perfected so that the workload is the minimum possible for GMAT dominance.
Issue with site access?
Sorry for the interruption. In most cases web cache/cookies saved in your browser are the culprit. Go ahead and run down this list:
- Delete cookies/web cache.
- Make sure the browser is up to date.
- Try a different browser (we use chrome for testing so definitely give that a shot).
- Restart computer.
- Log in/out of site.
- Try a different computer, tablet, or phone. This will make it easy to see if there’s something going on with the specific computer that you’re having issues with.
Still having trouble accessing HW? Send over an email to richard@atlanticGMAT.com (to make sure we get to it as fast as possible CC firstname.lastname@example.org and your tutor).
As much as you should avoid falling behind, getting ahead is also sub-optimal. Yes, you could probably muscle through a weeks worth of work in a few days. But, the work is laid out in a specific way so that one assignment builds on another with review in between to ensure that you understand what you’re working on and retain the knowledge for the long term. The staggering of assignments and review is a critical part of the learning process. You need time to digest material before adding more. Also, grueling for 3 days and then taking 4 days off is inferior to a steady GMAT diet throughout the week. Would eating all day on Saturday sustain you for the week? Does packing in a tremendous amount of exercise over the weekend provide the same benefit as consistent movement every day? Consistent GMAT studying combined with your job and the rest of your life is extremely challenging. But this GMAT commitment is temporary. The more you can live and breathe it for the next few months the quicker you’ll be done and the better the outcome will be. And the more you say “f&*$k it” I’m in 100% the easier it is. Think bandade slowly peeled away or quickly ripped off. Dipping the feet in the cold pool or cannon balling in whole hog.
Do your GMAT work in a quiet environment without distractions while you are awake and energetic. Working in a distracting environment or when you are exhausted is counterproductive. You waste limited GMAT materials and should potentially just get some rest so that you can be ready to work properly. Are you finding it impossible to find the time and energy to put in high quality work? This may not be the time to study for the GMAT. Rather than struggle through a hobbled GMAT preparation it may be better to pause and plan for a more open space. Let’s make the best possible choices in this preparation and sometimes that means postponing. There will never be a better time? Ok, here are some suggestions:
- Split up your HW into morning, midday, and evening assignments leaving the smallest assignment for the evening. If you need help splitting up the work we can subdivide the GMAT schedule into the different parts of the day. This requires more discipline but can work wonders.
- Depending on what your goals are we can usually reduce the HW by 20-30% provided that we add to the timeline. Let’s make sure we discuss this ASAP so we can avoid the stress of trying to do too much work with not enough time.
- Again, postponing the studying can be the best option if there’s the possibility of having more free time in the future.
What about practice tests?
Your GMAT preparation is split into two parts. First you do targeted work to build your skills and then you do more mixed sets and eventually practice tests to apply those skills. Every GMAT preparation is a bit different so the ratio of skill building to application is unique to your situation. If you’ve been studying for a while and have achieved a solid score already but are looking for refinement we’ll probably get to application sooner. If you’re either at the beginning of your preparation or have been somewhat stuck in a score range we’ll spend more time on targeted work to make sure you have a solid foundation.
For an 8 week prep there’s a good chance you’ll have your first practice test at the end of week 4, 5, or 6 giving you space for 2-4 full tests before the real deal. Along with that you’ll have plenty of mixed quant and verbal sets to practice on. Keep in mind that if your tutoring plan spans over a few GMATs we’ll be thinking about those future tests as we’re planning. With that in mind we’ll probably be conservative in assigning practice tests for your first GMAT because we’ll need them for GMAT #2 and so on. It’s much better to you use practice tests when you’re really ready to get the most out of them. On the flip side, if you’re on a more condensed schedule you may be starting practice tests right away.
All of that said, 99% percent your practice is going to be on timed quizzes chock full of official GMAT (or LSAT!) questions so you’re always working on on your test taking skills and on the best possible content.
All the sets are timed so that you are always practicing under the type of pressure you’ll have on your GMAT. You should consider timing as you would on a test. Worry? No. Manage. Yes! Think this way:
- Give yourself a minute or so to read, think, come up with a plan. If you don’t have a plan then you should put down an answer and move on.
- Have a plan? Great! Let’s execute without thinking about the clock.
- The plan not working out? Unless you immediately understand what went wrong and feel there is a 95% chance that you’ll get an answer relatively quickly then: Move On!
Results are horrible: help!!!
The most important thing is the review. Look at crappy results as an opportunity to learn new things. How’s the review? Are you able to solve things after the fact? Are you noticing that you’re making careless mistakes? Great, let’s improve. You’re not here because you’re already a GMAT maestro. The scores, especially in the first half of the preparation, are the least important indicator of how the preparation is going. Let’s just make sure that we are growing from the mistakes by putting in a thorough review, adding screenshots to the dropbox, and returning to those screenshots for review assignments. These are the most important parts of the HW.
Feeling burned out? Let us know ASAP. Let’s figure out what we need to do to make the studying work for you. There’s a limit to how much we can trim from the syllabus but maybe you need a few days off or some modification in the schedule to make it more workable.
For the core of the preparation (pre-tutoring and targeted quant sets) we’ve written our own explanations that harmonize with what you’ll be learning in sessions. Having the in-house explanations for these sets also saves a ton of time because you don’t have to google and search for the best explanations on the forums. However, if there’s an explanation missing or if our explanation doesn’t float your boat go to the forums and dig! After you get out of the core curriculum and are doing mixed sets and practice tests you’ll have to hit the forums for explanations. Keep taking review seriously throughout the preparation. It is central to achieving a whopper of a GMAT score.
Are you taking quizzes at work? The only issues we’ve had with quizzes not saving are with students taking quizzes at work. There it’s likely that a firewall or some type of security is preventing the quizzes from being submitted. If you are going to take quizzes at work use a hotspot from your phone.
Here’s a list with links of the GMAT prep materials that you’ll need for tutoring. GMAT prep tests 1 and 2 are free but the rest are a buy from MBA.com. We’ll need everything here except GMAT Focus. We’ll let you know if you need that one.
Two free full length GMATs. Register on MBA.com for free access.
400+ Official GMAT questions.
This gives you access to two more official GMAT CATs, Exam 3 and Exam 4.
This gives you access to two more official GMAT CATs, Exam 5 and Exam 6.
I would recommend just getting the bundle with Exams 3-6 and the Official GMAT Practice questions. It’s not a big discount but why not?
DON’T BUY UNTIL ASSIGNED. 24 question computer adaptive quant quiz with official questions and scoring algorithm. Great quant practice. We usually save this for a re-take. I would buy the bundle of three.