6-Month Road to 760 : Share GMAT Experience
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Manager
Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 130
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 710 Q43 V45
GMAT 2: 700 Q42 V42
GMAT 3: 760 Q48 V48
GPA: 3.51
WE: Marketing (Consulting)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 45 [3] , given: 27

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03 Jan 2013, 20:26
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Hi all,

GMAT club was a great resource for me throughout my GMAT experience, so I want to share my long road to a great score with you all. I generally scored high on standardized tests growing up, and I worked as an SAT/ACT tutor in college, so I had a strong understanding of general test taking strategies coming in. Given that, I went for an economical approach to prep, and bought Magoosh and the MGMAT CAT package about 6 weeks before my first test date (8/20/12). I studied on average 2-3 nights a week for an hour or so after work, then each weekend took a CAT. I felt great going in, and was scoring in the 740 range on MGMAT CATs, but basically bombed the math section and got a 710 (Q43/V45). My math percentile was only 61, so I decided to retake it with more comprehensive prep. I wrote a review on Magoosh you can see for my opinions on the course, its a decent economy option or supplement, but it's hardly comprehensive.

I took a week off, then spent about \$1,000 on Kaplan GMAT On-Demand and a few hours of private tutoring, had a similar study schedule with two sessions with a private tutor peppered in, but didn't take as many practice tests, and went in on my next test date (9/29/2012). Maybe it was that I switched testing centers, maybe it was that I didn't study the night before, or maybe it was the fewer practice CATs, but for whatever reason, my scores went down and I earned a 700 (Q42/V42). Knowing that this wouldn't cut it for my target schools (Ivy League, Kellogg, etc.), especially given my lack of name-brand work experience, I scheduled another test for mid-November. (Silver lining, I was eligible for the Kaplan guarantee for full refund, but only on the on-demand course, not the tutoring hours).

I took a few weeks off, and got back on the grind, but again felt that I didn't have enough time for CATs. I then had a unfortunate run of personal problems, and ended up having to reschedule my test within a week of the date, forfeiting the registration cost. My plan to be done with the GMAT before R1 was obviously shot, and I was now set to take finally take it again on 12/27, after two of my R2 deadlines. Regardless i hunkered down, and worked through the entire math section of Kaplan On-Demand, as well as all supplementary math info and did at least 20 practice questions per night. Just for added stress, my job hit a boiling point and I ended up resigning the night before the GMAT. None the less, on my last GMAT Prep practice test before the exam i scored a 730, so I walked in just thinking whatever happens, happens. The math seemed difficult, which is a good thing, and I was honestly shocked when I saw the 760. Final tally was Q48 (78%)/V48(99%) and 99% overall. Don't have my AWA or IR yet, but I got a 6 and 8 on each of the first two attempts.

All in all the best advice I can give is to just put in the work. Study, study, study. Get a program that will give you some testing tips, but in the end just learn all the material you need to know and really get after studying. I have always thought of myself as a natural test taker and I had to really bust my butt to get this score, so it's no easy test, but in the end you can make it happen.
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Director
Status: Gonna rock this time!!!
Joined: 22 Jul 2012
Posts: 547
Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q43 V34
GMAT 2: 630 Q47 V29
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 60 [0], given: 562

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04 Jan 2013, 01:28
congrats on the great score. .

How many lengthy RCs you got in the exam?

Heard that 3 would be small and 1 would be lengthy..

Regards,
Sach
_________________

hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.

Who says you need a 700 ?Check this out : http://gmatclub.com/forum/who-says-you-need-a-149706.html#p1201595

My GMAT Journey : http://gmatclub.com/forum/end-of-my-gmat-journey-149328.html#p1197992

Manager
Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 130
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 710 Q43 V45
GMAT 2: 700 Q42 V42
GMAT 3: 760 Q48 V48
GPA: 3.51
WE: Marketing (Consulting)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 45 [2] , given: 27

### Show Tags

08 Jan 2013, 15:31
2
KUDOS
Hey guys. As far as the RC passages, I didn't keep close track throughout, but 3 shorter and 1 longer seems about right.

As far as verbal tips, there are a few key things:

First, I would just make sure you have a firm grasp on the key grammar principles. I was at a bit of an advantage as I have worked in the test prep industry as an SAT/ACT instructor and as a copywriter for an ad agency, so grammar has been an integral part of my career. Nonetheless, the basic grammar principles are essentially the same on almost any standardized test, so if you feel the GMAT prep materials you are using aren't getting the point across, try using some SAT or ACT stuff that focuses on grammar, since the basic principles tested overlap so much (i.e various types of agreement, pronoun case, etc.). Like I said above, I wasn't a huge fan of Magoosh as a primary prep tool, but for targeted video lessons in which you know the specific areas you need to study, it can be a valuable repository of info.

For the critical reasoning, try to remember that the answer choice needs to address the specific elements of the situation that the question addresses, not logical extensions of that situation. For instance if the question has a statement from a city councilman about how widening a freeway will decrease traffic times long-term and the question asks for a statement to undermine the argument, an answer choice that says "traffic times will increase short-term" logically makes sense, but doesn't address the long-term times to which the question is referring. I always found it helpful to think this way and try to work backwards to identify and eliminate answer choices that make sense, but address the wrong aspect of the situation.

Hope these tips are helpful, and in the end the best advice I can give is just to put in the work and study. Make sure you take full-length practice tests to build mental stamina and just practice, practice, practice until you are comfortable with your knowledge. I knew I could do better than my first two tries, but it took effort to get the score I ultimately wanted.
MBA Section Director
Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 3545
Location: India
GPA: 3.8
WE: Marketing (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 1477

Kudos [?]: 11494 [0], given: 1858

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15 Jan 2013, 10:44
chains1910 wrote:
Hey guys. As far as the RC passages, I didn't keep close track throughout, but 3 shorter and 1 longer seems about right.

As far as verbal tips, there are a few key things:

First, I would just make sure you have a firm grasp on the key grammar principles. I was at a bit of an advantage as I have worked in the test prep industry as an SAT/ACT instructor and as a copywriter for an ad agency, so grammar has been an integral part of my career. Nonetheless, the basic grammar principles are essentially the same on almost any standardized test, so if you feel the GMAT prep materials you are using aren't getting the point across, try using some SAT or ACT stuff that focuses on grammar, since the basic principles tested overlap so much (i.e various types of agreement, pronoun case, etc.). Like I said above, I wasn't a huge fan of Magoosh as a primary prep tool, but for targeted video lessons in which you know the specific areas you need to study, it can be a valuable repository of info.

For the critical reasoning, try to remember that the answer choice needs to address the specific elements of the situation that the question addresses, not logical extensions of that situation. For instance if the question has a statement from a city councilman about how widening a freeway will decrease traffic times long-term and the question asks for a statement to undermine the argument, an answer choice that says "traffic times will increase short-term" logically makes sense, but doesn't address the long-term times to which the question is referring. I always found it helpful to think this way and try to work backwards to identify and eliminate answer choices that make sense, but address the wrong aspect of the situation.

Hope these tips are helpful, and in the end the best advice I can give is just to put in the work and study. Make sure you take full-length practice tests to build mental stamina and just practice, practice, practice until you are comfortable with your knowledge. I knew I could do better than my first two tries, but it took effort to get the score I ultimately wanted.

Very good and honest debrief!
Loved it!
And the verbal tips are golden!
_________________
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