“Thoroughness characterizes all successful men. Genius is the art of taking infinite pains. All great achievement has been characterized by extreme care, infinite painstaking, even to the minutest detail.”
Students who achieve high scores on the GMAT and the GRE do more than cover the basics; they get inside the heads of the test-makers. To the extent that you can do this, you’ll have a solid chance at reaching that 90th+ percentile, and that is what we’ll aim to achieve in our sessions.
Check out these graphics. These are from GMAC, the makers of the GMAT, who surveyed GMAT students to see approximately how long they spent studying for the exam.
We can learn two important facts from these charts:
- 56% of test-takers spend 50+ hours studying
- more time studying = better score
There is definitely a GMAT “tipping point” for many students. The difference between a 650 score and a 700 score is sometimes just a few hours of readjusting strategy and working through questions in a totally new way with an expert tutor.
If you’re a beginner, I can show you how to create a study plan that has maximum efficiency. Let’s make sure you aren’t studying in circles, doing random questions for no reason at all! But you should approach this exam with a degree of realism. If you can’t devote at least 10 hours a week to studying for 3 or more months, it’s probably not going to be possible for you to get that desired 780. 😉
What if you’re already a high-scorer?
Whether you have two months to study or an entire year, if you’re a smart, ahead-of-the-pack student aiming for a 750+ score (and, let’s face it, if you’re looking for your very own private GMAT or GRE tutor online, you probably are!) you likely have some if not many of the GMAT/GRE bases already covered: you’ve got a good grasp of reading comprehension, you’re fairly strong on grammar rules, and have a foundation in basic algebra and geometry.
So, how can I help you take your score to the next level?
By honing in on the “standardized test triumvirate,” the three aspects of every test that must be surmounted in order to get that competitive score: content, strategy, and pacing.
- “Content” can be subdivided into two groups: format and concepts. We’ll start with familiarizing your with the basic format of the GMAT or GRE. If you haven’t already done so, I suggest you take a free practice test online, pick up a copy of the GMAT or GRE Official Guide, and get comfortable with the test’s question types and general presentation. Once you know the format, we’ll begin to work on your content-knowledge, and this second group is the one that will separate the test-taker stranded in the 500 zone from the savvy 700+ student. I’ll help you recognize patterns in your incorrect questions and help you fill in the gaps of your content knowledge quickly and effectively using questions specifically chosen for YOU. We’ll analyze and address weaknesses systematically and effectively, and reinforce strengths.
- “Strategy” is a word that can seem a bit intimidating, but it boils down to this: do you have a systematic approach to each question type? And, more importantly, does it work for you? 80% of my tutoring sessions involve some type of strategy overhaul. By strategy, I mean a written-out “Step 1 … Step 2 …” plan of attack: a process by which you get the correct answer over and over again once you know the concepts tested. Strategy is necessary to prevent you from missing the traps of harder questions. Low-scorers will sometimes skim reading comprehension passages, sometimes take notes, sometimes read the question-stem first, sometimes not, to mixed results. High-scorers know exactly how to attack an RC passage, and I’ll show you how. If your scores are wanting consistency and you feel you’ve leveled out, let’s talk strategy!
- “Pacing” is arguably the toughest component of any exam. Theoretically, if you had unlimited time to take the GMAT or GRE, you should get 100% of the questions correct. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to be accurate and fast on the GMAT and GRE, which definitely takes practice. Students who start increasing their pace immediately usually have weak strategy. Students who ignore pacing until three weeks before the exam may be sweating bullets as they watch the timer click down to zero come test day. We’ll review general pacing strategies, you’ll learn pacing drills you can practice on your own, and we’ll set pacing benchmarks for each assigned practice test. Remember: pacing is not just something that you only practice on full-length practice tests! Together, we’ll make it a seamless part of your study plan.