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Post-Mortem 690, Career Goal and Retake Advice

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Manager
Status: Sick of Refreshing Email
Joined: 10 Mar 2011
Posts: 100
Location: United States (TX)
Concentration: Finance, Economics
GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V35
GMAT 2: 690 Q50 V33
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V39
GPA: 3.6
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 44 [0], given: 3

Post-Mortem 690, Career Goal and Retake Advice [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2011, 00:58
Hi Guys,

I took GMAT around one month ago and ended up with score which I hate the most “690” – 48Q and 37V. I am very disappointed as I did not cross 700. My essays stood at 4.5. This is a long debrief so please bear with me.

Quants –

Preview - I graduated from High school with A in math, had 770 in quants in GRE (7 years ago) and had A- in toughest math course in MS. So basically I enjoy solving problems and I generally don’t give in to a problem at hand, which according to my analysis was the reason of this debacle. I will revisit this point later.

I covered following books to prepare for the quant section.

1. All the Manahattan GMAT quant books to brush up the basics.
2. Veritas prep Statistics
3. Veritas prep Probability and Permutation Combination
4. OG 12 and OG workbook problems.
5. OG 10 PS. Could not attempt DS qusns.
6. Manhattan GMAT advanced problems – did not get time to review the mistakes

Other than inequality and initial hiccup with data sufficiency problems, I never really had too much trouble solving the GMAT problems. But I always ran into time constraint ranging from 7 qusns in last 1 min to 2 qusns in last 1 min. I think the poor time management led to the 48 in Q rather than 50. Actually I had 10 questions left to do in last 10 mins and was a déjà vu moment which I had encountered during first 5-6 tests that I had given.

This is the one of the primary reasons I am planning to retake the test. I am going to do the GMATclub tests but I read somewhere that not to time GClub’s test. Is that right? Are they super tough?

Verbal –

This is a section where I put in endless effort.

I have never been a good student of any language and I suck at constructing sentence. So I followed a ground up strategy. I started with grammar for dummies and Manhattan’s SC guide. By the time I was done with OGs I ended with 20-25 pages worth of notes on SCs. My SC problem areas have been perfect tense and comparisons.

I did CR power score bible and Manhattan’s CR guide. I had issues with assumptions and evaluate the argument but kept working on them till the very last day. In fact I did the power bible twice and I realized after finishing the OGs that power score puts undue emphasis on probability indicators such as few and most.

I had a success rate of 65 percent in both SC and CR and even after all that hard work the accuracy never seemed to improve, as if it had hit a wall. I always got 3-4 out of 14 CRs wrong and 4-5 out of 15 SCs wrong. The pattern in RC was strange - The success rate in RCs was greater than 80% in OG, even under timed condtions, but the figure came down to 50-60% during tests.

So primarily I prepared from –

1. Grammar for dummies workbook.
2. Manhattan’s SC guide
3. Aristotle SC grail + 100 qusns (did had 90% accuracy and is overrated)
4. Power score CR bibile
5. Manhattan’s CR guide
6. Manhattan’s RC guide
7. OG 10, OG 12 (twice) and OG Verbal workbook for SC, CR and RC.

I know I did not want to leave any stone unturned.

One last thing about Verbal – I felt the SC questions in real test were tougher than the ones I had practiced. In fact I think just 10-15% SC questions in OGs are representative of actual GMAT SC questions. I feel bad that I did Aristotle 100 questions rather than doing the compilation of SCs from GMAT prep.

Towards the end of 3nd month I started taking the mock tests. Please see the results below (Unfinished Q= Qusns done in last min)–

Date ------ Exam ------Score -------Unfinished Q

26-Jul ------MGMAT 1 ------630 ------5
31-Jul ------MGMAT 2 ------620 ------9
5-Aug ------Kaplan 1 ------560 ------0
12-Aug ------MGMAT 3 ------630 ------4
17-Aug ------GPrep1 ------650 ------3
23-Aug ------Kaplan 2 ------550 ------3
30-Aug ------Kaplan 3 ------580 ------1
4-Sep ------Kaplan 4 ------600 ------0
10-Sep ------G Prep2 ------680 ------2
15-Sep ------MGMAT 4 ------620 ------8
21-Sep ------Kap Free ------670
27-Sep ------800Scor1 ------710 ------2
2-Oct ------800Scor2 ------730 ------2
6-Oct ------MGMAT 5 ------690 ------2
10-Oct ------MGMAT 6 ------710 ------2

------ActGMAT ------690 ------5

Folks I want to make a career switch and going to university below top 15 is not an option for me. I am very passionate about investment management/research. I read books after books on investments and I enjoy going through company reports. I have my own little software to calculate the fair value of a company. Last year I came across some IB interview questions from UT Austin and was able to answer more than 60% of questions by the bank. I have never ever felt such clarity of goal and direction in life as in last few years.

I single handedly launched a website for mutual funds and will be shortly doing so for stocks.
http://www.mutualfundsforfuture.com/

I have been maintaining few portfolios since three years and have beaten the markets hands down.
http://socialize.morningstar.com/NewSocialize/PortfolioSharing/SharedPortfolioSnapshot.aspx?q=BC40CC613C939B0C

I have strong recos from my current and previous bosses who themselves went to MIT and Univ of Wisconsin @ Madison respectively, if that helps at all, but my GPA in MS is mere 3.3 (2.8 at end of 1st year and 3.7 at end of 2nd) and I come from IT background. I know that latter is nail in the coffin.

Bottom line is - Is 690 enough for career switch?

I have few questions for all the Gurus –

1. It is clear that my problem revolves around poor time management. So please advise me on how to take my Q to 50 and V above 40. Do I need to do more materials or just alter my strategy? How do I improve my verbal score?

2. I agree that drawing conclusion diagram in CR is helpful and I did that for questions in the OGs and while practicing stand alone problems but I rarely put this method into practice during exams. I felt that by doing so I would be eating away time from the whatsoever time I had. In fact I felt the same way for RCs. Taking mental notes of paragraphs in the passage is useful but putting the synopsis on the paper is very time consuming. Should I make this change and see if verbal score improves. I really need to figure out a way to get the verbal beyond 40.

3. Other than Gmat club tests are there any other material I need to refer. I have pretty much exhausted my resources. Should I start doing the 1000 series for CR and SCs?

Gurus I need help in reaching my goal.

Thanks
Sumeet
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Thanks
Sumeet
www.midasreturns.wordpress.com

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Re: Post-Mortem 690, Career Goal and Retake Advice [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2011, 01:47
How many tests did you take. Going from 700 to 750 is the real challenge, a lot of guys get in the range of 670 -700 with few months of prepration using standard resources. The question is if you got to beat others you got to practise much more than others. Think, that you want to put effort that only 1% put.

Resources
CR/RC : There are about 3000 LSAT CR and 1500 RC questions released till now.
SC: e-GMAT, Grockit, OG 10-11-12.
RC: Powerscore LSAT RC or Manhattan LSAT RC.

Quant - Practise 1000 problems from 700-800 score quant.

Take 10 full length tests.
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Founder
Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 13709
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Followers: 3239

Kudos [?]: 18478 [0], given: 4222

Re: Post-Mortem 690, Career Goal and Retake Advice [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2011, 21:45
Expert's post
I think 690 is plenty even with 4.5 AWA score

Your practice scores are not indicating you should have scored much higher than that. If you have a spare $250, go for it but I would spend all of my time on essays at this time. P.S. Great job on the portfolio by the way! _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News 2008 - 2017 Rankings progression - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Manager Status: Sick of Refreshing Email Joined: 10 Mar 2011 Posts: 100 Location: United States (TX) Concentration: Finance, Economics GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V35 GMAT 2: 690 Q50 V33 GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V39 GPA: 3.6 WE: Information Technology (Consulting) Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 44 [0], given: 3 Knewton vs MGMAT [#permalink] Show Tags 22 Nov 2011, 23:38 Thanks BB. I missed your reply, but after lot of deliberation and bouncing off ideas I have realized that 690 ain't taking me to any good school. So I am going to write the exam again. The task seems daunting but I know that I have nothing to lose. I dont want to look back after 5 years and say - I wish I had given it a second shot! 3 months and 1000$ is low price to pay for good 35 years that is ahead of me.

Enough of BSing. Apart from GMAT club tests, I need to pick one - Knewton or MGMAT. I have already gone through the books of MGMAT and I already own the paraphernalias from MGMAT. So do I really need to take MGMAT course. Only thing I will miss if I dont take MGMAT is the review of Tests that I have already taken and the 2 - half hour sessions with instructors. Am I wrong? The reason I am taking Knewton (and egmat) is to get some new material and a way to boost my Verbal.

One last thing - Can someone please guide me to the ever-elusive 700-800 level questions collection?
_________________

Thanks
Sumeet
www.midasreturns.wordpress.com

Founder
Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 13709
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Followers: 3239

Kudos [?]: 18478 [0], given: 4222

Re: Post-Mortem 690, Career Goal and Retake Advice [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2011, 10:34
Expert's post
Sure, I could see that decision. I was contemplating retaking the 750 (felt I could get more but stopped from that insanity a few hours after walking out of the test center).

Good Luck -you may want to give Knewton a shot. They have a Black Friday Special on GMAT Club today plus you get the GMAT Club tests free with the offer.

http://www.knewton.com/gmat/pricing/gmatclub/

P.S. they also have a money back guarantee but you have to solve every single question in every single exercise to be eligible.
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Re: Post-Mortem 690, Career Goal and Retake Advice   [#permalink] 23 Nov 2011, 10:34
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Post-Mortem 690, Career Goal and Retake Advice

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