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600 to 690 (Q47, V38) - The end of the GMAT journey!!!

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600 to 690 (Q47, V38) - The end of the GMAT journey!!! [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2009, 15:38
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GMAT: 690 (Q47, V38.)

Ok, folks. As you can see from the title, the score is nothing extra-ordinary. It is, what it is, and I am veering towards accepting it and moving on.

I have learned a lot from this community, and if my experience can help in any way it will be an honor. So without further ado, here's my 2 cents, or as some may say, here's my debrief:


Materials used:

OG 10,
Manhattan SC, CR & RC,
Mcgraw Hill Verbal review (initial reading, not used in the last month or two.)

Test Day:
I was a little nervous about the test yesterday, but had a good night's sleep, woke up fine, feeling refreshed - ready to take on the GMAT beast. I was early to the Test Center, so started half an hour early.

AWA

Argument essay: Nothing out of the left field. Followed this simple template:

Summarize the argument, say it is BS, and I'm going to lay it out, why it is so.

First......1 nail down, 2 to go.

Second.....one more down.

Finally....walla....last nail in the coffin.

Conclusion: Summarize everything I argued against, and say why the given argument still smells like BS.

Issue: Again, nothing out of the left field.

Similar structure as the above, but this time with examples of why my side of the issue holds more weight....

Took my break, lots of caffeine...came back feeling good. Ready to get on with the quant...

Quant:

Some geometric series problem came up first up, threw me off a little bit...but got it right...problems started getting tougher, putting a smile on my face. :)

Then after a nice ride till the 15-16 problems came a barrage of some nasty stuff: inequalities, overlapping sets, probability, probability with combination, permutation, and some more really nasty geometry stuff..

I thought I handled it pretty well, since till the end I was getting these tough cookies. But apparently, not.

Took this break as well, feeling good that I handled Quant pretty well. So went in with a lot of confidence for verbal (Looking back I'm glad I didn't know what my Quant score was, otherwise verbal would have been in the tens.)

Verbal:

Four RC passages, all different kinds, business, pol science, history, and one more that I can't remember.

SC was getting relatively easier towards the end, making me nervous that I'm really screwing this up.

CR was pretty decent, nothing too exciting, I had two or three bold-faces though, since it's considered tough, felt good about it.

Half way through the section, my brain was cooked...wasn't sure if I can see it through all the way.

Here's a breakdown of my practice scores:

08/22/9 -- GMATPrep 1 : 650 (Q47, V33)
09/05/9 -- Kaplan CAT 1: 600 (Q48, V29)
10/12/9 -- GMATPrep 1 (retake): 700 (Q50, V34)
10/17/9 -- MGMAT 1: 630 (Q43, V33)
10/20/9 -- MGMAT 2: 680 (Q51, V33)
10/24/9 -- MGMAT 3: 690 (Q48, V36)
10/27/9 -- MGMAT 4: 710 (Q48, V38)
10/29/9 -- GMATPrep 2 : 700 (Q47, V39)
10/31/9 -- GMATPrep 2 (retake): 740 (Q50, V39)

My comments / suggestions:

  • For folks who can take away a solid month or so from their commintments, you are lucky to get that opportunity, please use it very very wisely. Go after GMAT with a vengeance, as if there's no tomorrow.
  • For those who's workload takes away a lot of their personal time, plan to see ups and downs in your GMAT preparation. Do not let this bother you, but be mentally prepare for that. You should be able to switch on and off, on the go. It's tough, and sometimes can be borderline unacceptable, but it is what it is....accept it and use your time wisely.


Strategy for the test:

  • First, do not get into strategy business untill who have mastered or at least reached a comfortable level with the basics. Trying to figure out tips and tricks, while you are trying to get your base strong is a death trap. Avoid it.
  • When you start out, if you are in the 400-600 range and shooting for 700+, get your base solid first. Try to get as many right as you can by solving each and every problem, do not get into process of elimination just yet. Again, once you master the basics, then get into startegy and stuff.
  • Towards the end of your preparation, stay as close to OGs and GMATPrep CATs. I think, IMVVHO, that none of the test prep companies can appropriately emulate the actual GMAT material, hence their CAT material is bound to be skewed. However, a lot of the material in Kaplan & MGMAT Is great for learning, but not appropriate for judging where your 'score' is.

What else?

Yes, please feel free to ask any questions you have. And, good luck with your preps!


=====================================================================
The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? -- Initial post -- Mon Aug 17, 2009

I wonder what those 3 question marks will be? I guess that's something only I can find out. As they say, we will see!

I will be using this thread to keep track of my progress. Just to put things in the right context, I took the GMAT in '05 and scored a 600+, a 610 or 620, can't remember the specifics of either the Quant section or the verbal, and neither for the AWA.

So far I have been working on the old ETS paper tests, just finished all of them today, and here's the score lists:

TC 14 : 610 (Q46, V34)
TC 25 : 700 (Q??, V??) {Do not remember the specifics, but should be very close to TC 28 & 37.}
TC 28 : 700 (Q50, V40)
TC 31 : 660 (Q48, V36)
TC 37 : 700 (Q49, V39)
TC 42 : 670 (Q49, V34)
TC 48 : 630 (Q50, V27)
TC 52 : 720 (Q49, V43)
TC 55 : 740 (Q49, V45)

Based on this scores I have realized the following points:

  • Verbal: Scope of improvement is much higher in the verbal section, specifically in SC, CR (in that order.) RC needs continuous practice, but not much room there. In the last test (55,) IIRC didn't miss a single item in RC, missed 2 in CR, and 5 in SC.
  • Quant: Still a little rusty when it comes to the Prob / Comb / Perm problems. So need more practice with this.

Plan for the next couple of weeks: Read the CR bible, Manhattan's SC guide.

Please feel free to share any comments or advice you might have for me. Thanks!

Last edited by Jivana on 02 Nov 2009, 19:54, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2009, 18:36
Jivana wrote:
I wonder what those 3 question marks will be? I guess that's something only I can find out. As they say, we will see!

I will be using this thread to keep track of my progress. Just to put things in the right context, I took the GMAT in '05 and scored a 600+, a 610 or 620, can't remember the specifics of either the Quant section or the verbal, and neither for the AWA.

So far I have been working on the old ETS paper tests, just finished all of them today, and here's the score lists:

TC 14 : 610 (Q46, V34)
TC 25 : 700 (Q??, V??) {Do not remember the specifics, but should be very close to TC 28 & 37.}
TC 28 : 700 (Q50, V40)
TC 31 : 660 (Q48, V36)
TC 37 : 700 (Q49, V39)
TC 42 : 670 (Q49, V34)
TC 48 : 630 (Q50, V27)
TC 52 : 720 (Q49, V43)
TC 55 : 740 (Q49, V45)

Based on this scores I have realized the following points:

  • Verbal: Scope of improvement is much higher in the verbal section, specifically in SC, CR (in that order.) RC needs continuous practice, but not much room there. In the last test (55,) IIRC didn't miss a single item in RC, missed 2 in CR, and 5 in SC.
  • Quant: Still a little rusty when it comes to the Prob / Comb / Perm problems. So need more practice with this.

Plan for the next couple of weeks: Read the CR bible, Manhattan's SC guide.

Please feel free to share any comments or advice you might have for me. Thanks!

Try few CATs and look for consistency in your score...this may give you tons of confidence
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2009, 19:14
Yep, CATs are the next stop.

I don't care much about the ETS paper test scores, anyway. This was more to get me used to the material, formatting, et al.,
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2009, 00:06
ETS paper test seem to have easier quant section than actual gmat/gmat prep
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2009, 10:23
snipertrader wrote:
ETS paper test seem to have easier quant section than actual gmat/gmat prep


I concur with that statement, the problems I saw on those tests seem to be at a much lower level than the problems I have seen here.
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2009, 10:38
Jivana wrote:
snipertrader wrote:
ETS paper test seem to have easier quant section than actual gmat/gmat prep


I concur with that statement, the problems I saw on those tests seem to be at a much lower level than the problems I have seen here.


I would suggest you to attempt the 2 available GMATPrep test. This would give you a correct idea of where you stand.
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2009, 13:20
but ETS is good for practice ...i guess
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2009, 20:51
gmac25 wrote:
but ETS is good for practice ...i guess


Not sure what this ETS is ? Is it the old GMAT Test Papers ? The old GMAT Test Papers has quant very very easy as compared to actual GMAT tests; verbal questions are of good quality.

believe me guys, there is nothing as accurate as GMATPrep tests. One can attempt the GMATPrep tests several times.
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2009, 11:44
bigoyal wrote:
gmac25 wrote:
but ETS is good for practice ...i guess


Not sure what this ETS is ? Is it the old GMAT Test Papers ? The old GMAT Test Papers has quant very very easy as compared to actual GMAT tests; verbal questions are of good quality.

believe me guys, there is nothing as accurate as GMATPrep tests. One can attempt the GMATPrep tests several times.


I have those papers, and I agree quant is easy to medium and very few hard ones, if you have ample time do it for practise and not to be treated as a benchmark. But verbal is good, so in case short of time better to do only the verbal portion of it.
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2009, 11:54
Guys,

I intend to take the test with in the next 3 weeks or so. As many of us work full time as well, things are a bit different for me. I do not have too much time on my hands to take several tests. At this point thinking about taking the GMATprep CATS, read the CR bible and MGMAT SC books.

If time permits, I would like to take a few more CATs, but I'm not sure about which ones (besides GmatPrep) are the closest the actual GMAT questions. I would appreciate it you guys can post your comments on which ones, Kaplan, Manhattan, PR, et al., will provide the best utilization of one's time.

Thanks!
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2009, 12:07
Jivana wrote:
Guys,

I intend to take the test with in the next 3 weeks or so. As many of us work full time as well, things are a bit different for me. I do not have too much time on my hands to take several tests. At this point thinking about taking the GMATprep CATS, read the CR bible and MGMAT SC books.

If time permits, I would like to take a few more CATs, but I'm not sure about which ones (besides GmatPrep) are the closest the actual GMAT questions. I would appreciate it you guys can post your comments on which ones, Kaplan, Manhattan, PR, et al., will provide the best utilization of one's time.

Thanks!


I would say gmatfocus.com .. if you can afford it .. as it is from GMAC guys ... though you would ocassionaly see some OG 12 questions, but still it is the closest to GMATPrep
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2009, 12:48
I am not sure if spending any additional money is worth it this late in the game, given that I have access to several MGMAT, Kaplan, McGraw Hill & PR CATs, as well as the old PowerPrep CATs.
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2009, 16:50
Took the first Gmat Club test today:
Quote:
m25: you answered correctly 27 out of 37 questions; your percentile on test m25 is 73.7% (you did better than 73.7% of m25 test takers).


Missed: 3, 4, 6, 14, 17, 19, 20, 22, 27, 29. :(
Time: 56m 51s
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2009, 17:53
Since ur Q seems fine, i would focus on V. A good V score can really boost your gmat score.

Jivana wrote:
Guys,

I intend to take the test with in the next 3 weeks or so. As many of us work full time as well, things are a bit different for me. I do not have too much time on my hands to take several tests. At this point thinking about taking the GMATprep CATS, read the CR bible and MGMAT SC books.

If time permits, I would like to take a few more CATs, but I'm not sure about which ones (besides GmatPrep) are the closest the actual GMAT questions. I would appreciate it you guys can post your comments on which ones, Kaplan, Manhattan, PR, et al., will provide the best utilization of one's time.

Thanks!

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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2009, 10:09
Definitely, I think the greatest room for improvement for me is with verbal. In quant I need to stop making silly errors. In m25, I had only 3-4 genuine misses. The rest were due to silly errors, like choosing the wrong answer, missing signs, et al.,
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2009, 11:17
I think if you're hitting V43 and V45 there's not much room for improvement. That's basically like 2-3 wrong per section and it's almost impossible to improve to the point where you're consisting getting 1 wrong or less. With quant it's more likely that you can improve to the point where you're almost guaranteed a Q50 or higher, so I would make sure to keep reviewing quant as well.
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2009, 13:21
good luck. you are doing good.
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2009, 13:24
good luck.
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2009, 19:56
Took m01 today.

Quote:
m01: you answered correctly 28 out of 37 questions; your percentile on test m01 is 66.6% (you did better than 66.6% of m01 test takers).


Missed: 4, 11, 17, 19, 20, 26, 33, 35, 37
Time: 1h 13m 48s

Very very disappointed!
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Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ??? [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2009, 20:03
bipolarbear wrote:
I think if you're hitting V43 and V45 there's not much room for improvement. That's basically like 2-3 wrong per section and it's almost impossible to improve to the point where you're consisting getting 1 wrong or less. With quant it's more likely that you can improve to the point where you're almost guaranteed a Q50 or higher, so I would make sure to keep reviewing quant as well.


Thanks for the feedback.

My problem with verbal is consistency, specially with SC, and to a lesser extent with CR. On any given day, I can get 90%+ correct on a set of SC, and on another day that number can dip below 70%.

I know that I still have several weak points in Quant, (evidence is right above, with my m01 scores.) So I agree with you, Quant still needs improvement, but verbal I still feel is a major concern for me.
Re: The GMAT journey - From 600+ to ???   [#permalink] 20 Aug 2009, 20:03
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