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620 to 730 in 4 weeks

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Current Student
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Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q V
GMAT 2: 730 Q V
GPA: 3.2
WE: Business Development (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 8 [2] , given: 4

620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2012, 12:19
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I took the GMAT back in mid August and received a 620 (81% V/46% Q). I was very frustrated and discouraged by this result. As I ramped up for a retake, I read some posts on GMATClub that told success stories of score turnarounds. These posts were helpful to me and are the inspiration for this post. I hope that this post is helpful to someone else's efforts as well. I also hope that this post does not come across as bragging; the intent is to be helpful for others.

Some background on me: I went to one of the top public universities in the country and majored in liberal arts. I had a very average GPA. All that to say, I am neither a dummy nor a rocket scientist. (I feel like giving background on these posts is helpful... obviously not trying to brag.)

I began studying for the test in May 2012. I averaged 13-14 hrs per week of studying and took an in-person Manhattan course (with which I was not pleased/impressed). I had not performed as well as I had hoped on my practice tests during the Manhattan course (ranged from 600-700ish) and took the test in August. Like I mentioned above, the result was very disappointing. I decided that I wanted to take the test again as soon as possible (given the requisite, month-long, delay); I signed up for a retake in mid-September.

Leading up to the retake, I focused on a couple Kaplan review books that focused on math foundations. I found these to be fairly helpful. However, the focus of the four weeks of studying between the first and second tests was predominately concentrated on working problems from the two most recent GMAT Official Guide books. I hammered problems (both verbal and quant, but mostly quant). I worked problems over and over again. I averaged closer to 17 hours per week of studying for these weeks. Over this period, I felt an increased amount of comfort with problems and began to perform better during my timed exercises and my practice tests. In a typical three hour study period I would do a selection of problems such as 5 SC, 5 RC, 5 CR, 20 DS and 20 PS. I would keep track of my time for each sets and I would record each missed problem in a spreadsheet and review my errors after each set to make sure that I understood the problem that was missed. I found these sessions to be very helpful for me.

I think that these study habits were very successful for me and lead, in part, to my turn-around in my score. I also think that familiarity with the testing center really helped reduce my anxiety. I was pretty stressed the morning of my first test. The day of my second test, while still anxious, I was much more relaxed. I wasted much less emotional energy the day of the second test. I would encourage people to relax the day/morning of the test. Don't let yourself get stressed out. I think my stress level had a large impact on my score. My second test was much better as I got a 730 (96% V, 78% Q). I think the combination of my study habits for the month leading up to the retake as well as my decreased level of anxiety the morning of the test lead to my turnaround.

I hope you find this post helpful. If you do, please let me know. Also, if anyone has a question, I will try to respond.

Now on to applications...

Thanks and best of luck to everyone out there.
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Joined: 12 Aug 2012
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Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2012, 12:35
Hi, wom2c,
congratulations with your great score.
I have some questions and would be very pleased to get answers for them.
My first question is that, can you talk about detailed preparation strategy for verbal part: what sources did you find useful for the preparation for each section of the verbal
And how was difficulty level of the questions in the real test compared with OG and GmatPrep.
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q V
GMAT 2: 730 Q V
GPA: 3.2
WE: Business Development (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 4

Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2012, 12:55
GRE2015 wrote:
Hi, wom2c,
congratulations with your great score.
I have some questions and would be very pleased to get answers for them.
My first question is that, can you talk about detailed preparation strategy for verbal part: what sources did you find useful for the preparation for each section of the verbal
And how was difficulty level of the questions in the real test compared with OG and GmatPrep.


GRE2015-
I did not focus on verbal nearly as much as quant (since my liberal arts background gave me a verbal advantage). However, my verbal study mostly consisted of doing OG problems and reviewing the problems that I got wrong in the back of the book or on MGMAT's online OG Archer program (which I found very helpful). I also used MGMAT's SC and CR books. I felt that the questions on the real test were on par with that of my prep materials and the practice tests. I had no real surprises.
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Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 161
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 151

Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2012, 10:00
Congrats!This just shows how resilient u are.
Can you please answer my below queries:
What kind of questions did u encounter during the exam,especially in quant.
Which topics u feel one should stress more on in quant?
Were RCs similar to those in GMATPREP?

Thanks,
Shreeraj
1 KUDOS received
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q V
GMAT 2: 730 Q V
GPA: 3.2
WE: Business Development (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 8 [1] , given: 4

Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2012, 08:28
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shreerajp99 wrote:
Congrats!This just shows how resilient u are.
Can you please answer my below queries:
What kind of questions did u encounter during the exam,especially in quant.
Which topics u feel one should stress more on in quant?
Were RCs similar to those in GMATPREP?

Thanks,
Shreeraj


Shreeraj-
I saw a few more probability and combinatorics problems than I had expected. A good amount of challenging geometry as well. I felt like the MGMAT practice tests were fairly similar to the real thing. RC was very similar.
Current Student
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Joined: 27 Apr 2012
Posts: 39
Location: United States (TX)
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Jones '15 (M)
WE: Other (Other)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 1

Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2012, 11:55
Congrats, man! That's quite a turnaround. My first test in this Saturday morning and I fully expect to sign up for a second one right away as you did.

My question is what level (500, 600, 700, 800) or number grouping (easy/early, middle/mid level, later/hard) from the OG book did you concentrate on. My practice tests are coming in the low 600's (Q38 48% V35 74%) which tells me I need to brush up on that level of difficulty to break through to higher level questions. Did you have a strategy for picking which level questions to work on?
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q V
GMAT 2: 730 Q V
GPA: 3.2
WE: Business Development (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 4

Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2012, 12:06
swgator13 wrote:
Congrats, man! That's quite a turnaround. My first test in this Saturday morning and I fully expect to sign up for a second one right away as you did.

My question is what level (500, 600, 700, 800) or number grouping (easy/early, middle/mid level, later/hard) from the OG book did you concentrate on. My practice tests are coming in the low 600's (Q38 48% V35 74%) which tells me I need to brush up on that level of difficulty to break through to higher level questions. Did you have a strategy for picking which level questions to work on?


Good question. Before my first test, I focused only on questions that were mid-level and hard-level (600-700+). After my first test I had exhausted most of the materials in OG13. I bought OG12 and began at question number 1 in my focus sections (PS and DS) and did all of the odd problems in each section and then went back through and did all of the even problems. I would do a handful of problems from each section each night and morning before work (and I would choose a few mid/hard range questions from verbal sections each night but this was not my focus). I found this method helpful in that it gave me a better grasp of the quant. Almost like I went back to the basics and built my foundation, instead of just jumping into the type of questions that correlate with my goal score.
Current Student
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Joined: 27 Apr 2012
Posts: 39
Location: United States (TX)
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Jones '15 (M)
WE: Other (Other)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 1

Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2012, 12:26
wom2c wrote:
swgator13 wrote:
Congrats, man! That's quite a turnaround. My first test in this Saturday morning and I fully expect to sign up for a second one right away as you did.

My question is what level (500, 600, 700, 800) or number grouping (easy/early, middle/mid level, later/hard) from the OG book did you concentrate on. My practice tests are coming in the low 600's (Q38 48% V35 74%) which tells me I need to brush up on that level of difficulty to break through to higher level questions. Did you have a strategy for picking which level questions to work on?


Good question. Before my first test, I focused only on questions that were mid-level and hard-level (600-700+). After my first test I had exhausted most of the materials in OG13. I bought OG12 and began at question number 1 in my focus sections (PS and DS) and did all of the odd problems in each section and then went back through and did all of the even problems. I would do a handful of problems from each section each night and morning before work (and I would choose a few mid/hard range questions from verbal sections each night but this was not my focus). I found this method helpful in that it gave me a better grasp of the quant. Almost like I went back to the basics and built my foundation, instead of just jumping into the type of questions that correlate with my goal score.


Great, thanks for the feedback. I think I'll follow a similar plan post test. That is unless I score a 710 on my first crack at it :lol:
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Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 29
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 4

Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2012, 22:17
Hi Wom2C,

Congratulations on your great score!!i have a couple of questions for you.
What did you do to improve your Quant score the second time around? I mean except for the OG questions were there any other materials that you used for Quant? I have been scoring 41-44 in quant in the MGMAT tests and would really like to push this score to a 48-49. I have my exam scheduled the next month.
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q V
GMAT 2: 730 Q V
GPA: 3.2
WE: Business Development (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 4

Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2012, 03:59
negative wrote:
Hi Wom2C,

Congratulations on your great score!!i have a couple of questions for you.
What did you do to improve your Quant score the second time around? I mean except for the OG questions were there any other materials that you used for Quant? I have been scoring 41-44 in quant in the MGMAT tests and would really like to push this score to a 48-49. I have my exam scheduled the next month.


I used the MGMAT and Kaplan "foundations of math" books. I used the MGMAT online OG Archer to help me figure out what I was missing and why. Found it very helpful
Re: 620 to 730 in 4 weeks   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2012, 03:59
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