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550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post)

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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2011, 00:17
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I've gotten some PMs and just thought I'd answer here, so that everyone can benefit from the answer rather than just one person. If you have any questions, please post in this thread as opposed to PMing me. I will do my best to respond.

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Hey -

I read your post on going from 550 to 750... VERY helpful. I was wondering if you have any advice on timing for the quant? I've taken the exam twice now, getting a 690 both times. Each time I've found myself with about 3-5 minutes left and about 10 questions... YIKES! I'm not doing this on practice exams (at least not to that extent) but somehow on the actual exam I've just froze up or something on the quant.

My scores on verbal have been 42 and 46, while quant is 41 and then 39. So I clearly need to ramp up that quant!

Thanks for your advice.


I had issues with timing as well, as you can see from reading my post. However, unlike you, I was also having issues with timing on practice tests, which means that I'm just a slow test taker. But you on the other hand.. based on what you're telling me it sounds like you are only experiencing this on practice test. What that means is that you might be having anxiety on the day of the exam or something else is affecting your performance.

I'm not sure what specific advice I can give you other than keep practicing quant problems until you have the basic concepts down cold or so that your anxiety wears off. Also, on the exam, if you see a problem that you know is going to take you a while, or that you just don't know how to do it, I would feel free to skip it. Like I said, quant was a major problem of mine as well, but in the end I managed a 49. This is because on the exam if I didn't know how to do it, I simply skipped it. I probably skipped at least 3 problems, and still didn't complete about 2 problems at the end because I ran out of time. I still got a 49 on quant and a 750 overall. This shows that you don't need to get every problem correct or even attempted to obtain an excellent score. But you do need to make sure that you know the concepts well enough that you nail the easier to medium problems.
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Re: 550 to 690 in 6 months. Then to 750 in one month. [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2011, 00:30
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Where did you find so many OG like questions to practice?


I didn't. That's the beauty of it really. I really only reviewed from OG 11, OG 12, the Official GMAT Quantitative Review, and the Official GMAT Verbal Review. Of course the other source of official questions were the GMATPrep tests, but those should only be taken sparingly when you need to get an accurate gauge on your progress. I pretty much hammered the same questions and the same basic concepts again and again, and hey, it was enough to improve my score from the 500s to the mid 700s.

I find that the average person is probably not going to memorize the details regarding all the questions anyway. By the time I go over the question again, I would usually have forgotten what the exact "tricks" in the problems were, or the correct answers (i.e. I don't have them memorized, I would have to solve the problem again).. perhaps a smarter person would have everything memorized after the first time, I don't know.

Much of my time was spent reading the books, reviewing and re-reviewing the concepts from the MGMAT books, as well as practicing problems, then going back to the MGMAT concept books, then practicing questions over again, etc, etc. Each round that I do this, is several weeks in between, so that I would not have everything memorized.

If you need additional questions, MGMAT has a source of questions, but like I said, these are not always going to be completely indicative of actual GMAT questions. But if you really really need them, they're there, and extra practice probably won't hurt. At least they will get you thinking.

So to sum up, make sure you really exhaust the OG first. Review the basic concepts until you have them down cold. If you find that you have done all of this, and the OG questions have become obsolete because you have absolutely memorized all of the answers, THEN you might want to consider moving onto other sources that contain questions that are reputable to be indicative of actual GMAT questions. For me, the last step was not really necessary.
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2011, 11:39
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Abbasi2010 wrote:
Congrats man.. great score and good luck with your application.......

Thanks.
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2011, 13:20
:-D HI Man ,

Congrats Inspiring One have given +1

God Bless
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2011, 13:22
Awesome, phenomenal post, I am getting a simple message here: do not digress from the OGs and MGMATs! there will be other material, always but its of no use if you don't have digested OG well enough!

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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2011, 23:13
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Hello, First of all, a heartiest congratulation. I can totally relate to how proud you must have felt after getting such a phenomenal score. I was always a below average 'mediocre' student in school. But, I am used to working really hard to reach my goal. I do have the Manhattan guides, which I have started studying. My question is: Should I start the OG problems as soon I finish one mgmt guide? This is recommended in the mgmt guide. Or, finish all the mgmt books and then do the OG? Your input will be greatly appreciated. Once again, what an amazing story. I have read your debrief several times and intent to do so in the coming months. I personally found it very inspirational. Regards, D


If I am not mistaken, at the end of each lesson in the MGMAT books, there are problem sets from the OG guides that test you on those concepts. I would recommend going through those after each lesson just to solidify and ensure that you have a good grasp of the concepts before moving on. Also, please note that just because you have done a problem in the OG or MGMAT book, doesn't mean you shouldn't go back to it again later. If you want, you could do the problems both after each lesson, and then again after you have gone through all of the books. Hope this helps.
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2011, 17:47
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Hey there Found your post inspiring ! I am also following giving MGMAT exams without timing . I would like to know how you made the transistion from going w/o timing to with timing. I would greatly appreciate your input. Thanx !


I didn't really make any sort of transition. I would say that you should always be mindful of your timing. I was only trying to make the point that the quantitative section of the MGMAT practice tests were so difficult compared that I never bothered to time myself on those, but focused more on getting the concepts down. I would say that the verbal portion of the MGMAT practice tests should be timed similar to if you were taking the actual test. Of course the GMATPrep tests should be taken under testing conditions as well.
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2011, 05:31
risys82,

Let me start out by saying congrats on your achievement. Then let me thank you for the very inspiring post. I'm in the process of restarting my GMAT studies and I found this post to be a great motivational tool. I've got the MGMAT books, Kaplan GMAT Premier 2011, and the Powerscore Critical Reasoning. I'm starting with the Kaplan book as a base, then I'll move onto the MGAT quant guides. Thanks again for the post! Did you already apply/get accepted into a program?
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2011, 18:45
huge inspiration for me! hope to make the same kind of leaps
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2011, 18:51
Great, congrats. Your candid views are very encouraging. +1
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2011, 03:46
You are a hell of a hard worker. 5 hours every day for 6 months. No wonder you hammered a 750. Could you tell us how did you managed to motivate yourself ? What was your daily study plan ?

I really agree with the point that solving OG and MGMAT time and again is better than splitting efforts.
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2011, 04:55
Simple and nice inspirational success story. Thank you.
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2011, 09:49
A huge, huge inspiration (a most valuable fuel)...
Thank you!
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2011, 11:08
I am in very much need of this inspiring post! Just found it ...thanks!
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2011, 06:39
great job actually.
this is the only post that i read that mgmat books used as only study material and such awesome score.
what were the other tests did you take other than the 7 free tests on mgmat.
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2011, 21:34
Hi Risy82! Great debrief...very encouraging since I too am planning to retake the GMAT after scoring a disappointing 670 on my first attempt. I say disappointing since I was mostly getting 700+ on my practice tests. But I have to admit that even then my Verbal score would waver. On good days, I would get 41/42 and on bad days 36. I reckon, the test day was one of the bad days since I scored a 36 on my Verbal. I have major timing issues here. I really don't know what to do differently on my verbal. But one thing I do remember from my exam day experience is that I was totally dazed when the verbal section started. I guess, lack of stamina got the better of me. This is indeed surprising because i took 6-7 prep tests under exam conditions.

Please help!
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2011, 15:07
risys82,

Great story! Right now I can use some motivation. I'm into the 3rd month of my 2nd attempt at the GMAT. During this second attempt I took the Knewton online course, which was good but, it got me to about 65% ready I figured. After finishing the online course I was scored 530 on a Knewton GMAT CAT (Q35/V29), but that was a month ago now. I felt like I needed to take a few steps back in order to get a few steps forward. I bought the MGMAT series, and i'm currently on the 3rd guide. After the 2nd MGMAT guide I tried writing one of the MGMAT Cat's and didn't even get half way through the quant with out stopping it and telling my self that I need to study more quant before going back.

So right now i'm doing the advanced section on the MGMAT guide #3, i'm finding the questions pretty difficult and discouraging at the same time. In fact discouraging to the point that this week I haven't been able to study for more than 2 hours per day.

So enough about me and my story. I guess what I liked to know is how did you study for 6 months straight? Right now i'm having trouble finding motivation in the 3rd month. Also on average it's taking me about 1.5 - 2 weeks to get through an MGMAT series book, this includes doing all the problems in both the MGMAT and the OG 12 questions listed. How long did it take you on average, and did you start going back and reviewing the MGMAT texts that you already finished or did you finish all of them and than start reviewing them again?

All in all, right now i'm trying not to burn out, especially given the fact that during my first attempt at the GMAT I psyched my self out, and scored way below what I was getting on my practice GMAT's, which was around 600's.

One thing I know is that I'M UP FOR THE CHALLENGE!

risys82, thank you for your post, I look forward to hearing from you.
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2011, 18:04
Congrats risys82, what a great post it was !! Very helpful...
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2011, 22:48
This post is really inspirational! Congratulations, risys82!!

I surely will get back to this post countless times before I write my GMAT (even after).
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Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post) [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2011, 02:14
Womiwom wrote:
risys82,

Let me start out by saying congrats on your achievement. Then let me thank you for the very inspiring post. I'm in the process of restarting my GMAT studies and I found this post to be a great motivational tool. I've got the MGMAT books, Kaplan GMAT Premier 2011, and the Powerscore Critical Reasoning. I'm starting with the Kaplan book as a base, then I'll move onto the MGAT quant guides. Thanks again for the post! Did you already apply/get accepted into a program?


Thank you for the kind words. I have applied to PhD programs and was accepted into one of my top choices, so I'm happy. For the sake of anonymity, I will leave out the name of the program (Unlike MBA programs, PhD programs only take a small handful of students) :)
Re: 550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post)   [#permalink] 27 Apr 2011, 02:14
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