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4th attempt: 690 (Q51 V31) and it is good enough for me

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Joined: 14 Aug 2009
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Schools: MIT Sloan 2012
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4th attempt: 690 (Q51 V31) and it is good enough for me [#permalink] New post 12 Dec 2009, 15:14
GMAT 1 590 (Q42 V29) Dec 08
GMAT 2 640 (Q43 V35) Mar 09
GMAT 3 640 (Q46 V31) Nov 09
GMAT 4 690 88% (Q51 98% V31 58%) Today

Do I wish I had gotten a 710 instead? Sure but I will get rejected by a top 10 not because I got a 690 instead of 710. After studying for 2.5 months and taking the Kaplan course, I scored a 640 on my 3rd attempt in November and I was devastated. I registered for a 4th attempt anyway because my #1 choice school has a deadline on 12/15 and they do not take new GMAT after the deadline. I had scheduled my 3rd and 4th attempt this way solely to present the best of myself to my #1 school.

But after my 3rd attempt I was completely turned off from studying. I did not study at all for 2 weeks afterward. With 2 more weeks to go, I took a Kaplan cat and got a 680. Okay maybe things weren't as bad. I simply studied every problem I got wrong. I took another cat a week later and got a 640 :( At that time I thought since I won't be reporting to any school so there was really nothing to lose. Instead of studying I focused on my application instead, putting a lot of effort into my essays.

I went to take the test today for one purpose only: to get above 80% in Q so I do not have to take a math waiver test for Haas. And you know what, last night was the only time I really studied, went over again all the wrong problems I got and went through my cheat sheet. I also did something different, I scheduled for 12pm instead of the previous 3 attempts at 8am.

I woke up at 8am and left my house around 840a. I intentionally took the long route to the test center (in Manhattan). I drove and parked my car and took the subway. I thought about going over my notes again but this beautiful girl sitting across from me was too distracting :)

I got to the test center with 1.5 hour to go. I went to a cafe next door and had breakfast before going in.

AWA - I did not really care. For both essay prompts I knew I could write meaningfully and even if I wrote complete crap, I would still get a 4.5. I finished AWA with 5 minutes to go and I decided to practice on my pad instead with the stupid marker pen. I imagined I was solving a madeup quadratic equation and solved it.

Took the break and started quant. BAM!!! The first question was a word problem with 6 lines of text. I had to read it twice to understand it and then after I DID NOT backsolve my answer was not in any of the choices. I already wasted 4 minutes. I randomly guessed and went on. I think I guessed on another question around question 20 but I made sure I was doing good on time (making sure if there were 10 problems left I would have at least 20 minutes for example). I got a little worried when the last question was REALLY easy...oh well nothing I could do at that point but I double checked my answer before submitting it (30 seconds left to go).

Took the other break and had a chocolate bar :) Started verbal and it did not start well at all. My verbal is fuzzy to start with and by question 10 I was serious lagging behind in time and I knew I hadn't done well on the questions I already answered. But I chose not to panic because I was there to do well on quant and I thought I had a good chance for 80% in Q so I guessed when I had to. It just seemed that every question I wasn't 100% sure. But I got to the last question with 2.5 minutes to go. I calmed down and then eliminated all but 2 and guessed on one of them with 5 seconds to go. Submit

If I got a 640, 650, 660, 670 I get the Kaplan money back guarantee :) If I got a 680 well that would suck since I can't get my money back and it is 680. Before the score showed up, I was expecting around a 660. And then 690 with Q51 98%. I was happy because I achieved what I wanted out of today. If I concentrate really hard on verbal this past month I might have improved on verbal. Since I got V35 before, a Q51 and V35 would have been awesome but it is what it is....690 is good enough in my case I am not automatically disqualified from any school because of my GMAT (well maybe HSW, but I am not applying there but I am applying to several other top 10)

I am sharing my experience NOT TO TELL YOU NOT TO STUDY. I knew I could do math but perhaps I was too stressed out on the previous attempts. I knew verbal will be a challenge but I expected myself to be around 31 anyway. But 690 is what it is and I am done with GMAT (for now)

Last edited by jzd on 17 Dec 2009, 11:04, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 4th attempt: 690 (Q51 V31) and it is good enough for me [#permalink] New post 12 Dec 2009, 15:54
Expert's post
Congratulations! That's a great score.
There is a tendency to only feel comfy with a 700+ but that's really overrated.

Thank you for a detailed debrief and I have added you to the list of successful retakers list: should-i-retake-gmat-thread-retaking-gmat-strategies-83339.html
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Status: Nothing comes easy: neither do I want.
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GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V31
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Re: 4th attempt: 690 (Q51 V31) and it is good enough for me [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2009, 10:57
inspirational and best thing is satisfaction....top b school is the one which satisfy our need not just FT ranking.

Good Luck ahead
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Re: 4th attempt: 690 (Q51 V31) and it is good enough for me [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2009, 19:32
Great score I'd say and u completely busted quant :)
I've got similar score as ur previous one and hope to make similar improvement too!

Many Congratulations and all the best with apps!
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Re: 4th attempt: 690 (Q51 V31) and it is good enough for me [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2009, 04:33
Got the official report today.
690 (88%) Q51 (98%) V31 (58%) AWA 6.0 (90%)

lol, writing crap and still get 6.0 on AWA. Hopefully the AWA score can offset some negatives from V31 even though schools do not care about AWA too much
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Re: 4th attempt: 690 (Q51 V31) and it is good enough for me [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2010, 06:26
Good attitude!
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Re: 4th attempt: 690 (Q51 V31) and it is good enough for me [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2012, 14:12
this is a great post! thanks for the insight
Re: 4th attempt: 690 (Q51 V31) and it is good enough for me   [#permalink] 30 Jun 2012, 14:12
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