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120-point improvement in six weeks

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Manager
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Joined: 09 Nov 2012
Posts: 170
GMAT 1: 700 Q43 V42
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 42 [0], given: 29

120-point improvement in six weeks [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2012, 15:41
Reggie Jackson, Pelé, Tom Brady, and Michael Jordan all have one thing in common: a drive to be the best at what they do. That is all you need to do well of the GMAT. You do not need a PhD in mathematics from MIT or the grandchild of Albert Einstein’s third cousin twice removed, but you need to have that drive.

I initially took the GMAT and scored a 580 (forgot my breakdown). My studying was not the best and Beat the GMAT’s 60-day study guide and the Kaplan course I took did not help either. I would not suggest either if you want a 700+.

Here is what I used:

-OG 13 guides (the thick one and the two thin ones)
-MGMAT guides (I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY, recommend these)

After four weeks of studying, I took the first GMATPrep test and scored a 640 (forgot my breakdown). I freaked out during the quantitative section and had a panic attack. I took the second GMATPrep and scored a 730 (49Q/41V), but had a problem with the timing in the quantitative section. After six weeks of studying, I took the first GMATPrep from the old non-IR program and scored another 730 (48Q/41V). I felt confident going into the GMAT but was worried about my quantitative timing.

On test day, I took two Snickers bars, two bananas, and a bottle of Vitamin Water (unlike Gatorade, it has no sodium, so it will not make you thirsty). I drank a 5 Hour Energy before leaving my house. I crushed the essay section, which I had barely prepared for (ChineseBurned’s guide is more than enough to do well). I struggled with IR, though. I had not prepared much for it and seemed to get tough questions.

I started the quantitative section and smiled because my first question was an easy one that I knew. So was my second, third, etc. until around halfway through the section. I started getting this insane DS questions. I also made the fatal mistake of looking at the clock (one post here suggested only looking after 12 questions and then again after 25 questions). Big mistake. I saw that I was four minutes behind and panicked. It was so bad that I felt I was about to faint. I was about to ask if I could leave, but told myself that if I give this up now, I will never get a 700+ because this will always be in the back of my mind. I pushed through.

I went through verbal, which I felt was my strong point. I was not born in the US, but I have lived here long enough to acquire native fluency in English. My friends and I are on the opposite side of the political spectrum, and always have friendly arguments, so CR came naturally for me. RC was also easy for me because my mother and grandmother would read to me in English and my native language while I was little. SC also came easy to me because I am somewhat of a grammar Nazi. I still had to review, though, and could probably have done better.

I ended up with a 700 (43Q/42V). I really should have done better. I would normally retake this, but a 700 is competitive for the MSF programs that I am applying to.

Here is some general advice:

1. Remember that you do not need to be a genius to beat the GMAT. All you need to do is to study.

2. Eat a full breakfast and bring some snacks along. Snicker’s bars are high in fat and sugar, which should power you through the GMAT. I would also suggest bringing bananas, which are good for the brain. Google “GMAT snacks”.

3. Get a good night’s sleep. When I got my 580, I barely got any sleep. Big mistake. This time, I got some natural sleeping pills and went to bed early. Of course, with my luck I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

4. Maybe this is because my quantitative score was 43, but I feel like a lot of the things the “hardest math questions ZOMG!!!!” guides stress never appeared. I got no combination problems and only one probability problem. Most of the problems I got were based off of exponent, negative/positive, and positive/negative rules. Again, maybe that is because I only got a 43, but I feel like some of these guides overblow these topics.


I hope that helps. By the way, how do you think a low IR score would impact me? I am very nervous that I bombed that section.
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Re: 120-point improvement in six weeks [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2012, 22:36
Congrats on your great score. The IR score is not that important if you are applying this year. Well, that is what everyone says in this forum :lol:
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Re: 120-point improvement in six weeks [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2012, 23:06
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Congratulations and good luck for future!
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Re: 120-point improvement in six weeks [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2012, 01:00
This is a great debrief, the fact you kept things simple worked well for you. I agree with most of the points mentioned here, you don't need over complicated material just official sources and the drive to succeed are sufficient to get good scores! good luck with your application.
Re: 120-point improvement in six weeks   [#permalink] 08 Dec 2012, 01:00
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