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630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward

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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Other
GPA: 3.64
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 70 [0], given: 78641

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630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2008, 06:54
Yesterday I took the GMAT for the first time and received a 630 (Q43/V34). I'm a bit lost moving forward and am hoping to get some good advice.

Test Day-
Everything went fine, the Quant section I thought was easier than many of the problems I had been practicing, obviously I made some mistakes if I only got a 43 but I wasn't disapointed with that score since that it was in my normal score range. Verbal - I ran COMPLETELY out of time, my last RC section came in my last 8 minutes and I started flipping out. I got so anxious that I ended up briefly skimming the last 10 questions and trying to make an educated guess but it just didn't work out for me.

Feelings about my prep-
I have to say I feel most confident with SC but - I am not an ace at it, especially when I am in a crunch for time. Reading Comprehension is a hit or miss, either I get the passage or I don't - I have issues usually with the science passages. CR I go up and down with. I've practiced problems SO much, went through the entire OG11 - and with SC I was getting most of them right up until the day of the test (however; because I am so familiar with them, I ended up memorizing the answers subconsiously). The difficult CRs throw me during my practice.

The number properties questions always get me a little stressed, some of the difficult geometry throws me - and complicated word problems. I want to focus on raising my verbal a lot - but dont' want to lose the progress I've made with my math -> but still would obviously like to increase that score as well.

Does anyone have any recommendations with my prep moving forward? I would be happy with a 680 or 690, and would be ecstatic hitting 700. So 700 is my end goal, which means I should aim for 730 during my prep. I am looking to retake the test in the last week of August, so that gives me almost 3 months. Ideally I want to be scoring in the 40-42 range for verbal and around the 48 range for Quant. I'm losing next weekend because I am going to an out of town wedding, and I'm also losing another weekend in July for another wedding.

My GMATPrep software is buggy so I don't think I should use it anymore unless I can get my hands on the previous version. I have the powerprep software that I haven't used yet. I guess I would like to know what you all think I should be focusing on, and how, like how many tests a week should I take, how I should focus my prep since I have gone through much of the OG11 (are there any additional books I should purchase-should I get the books that focus on higher scores?), and how I should work on my timing.

I truly believe if I had enough time, I could have scored a 670-680. I got so anxious my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest!

A brief history of my studies and test scores:
Books Completed:
OG11 - Gone through about 95% of the problems in the book
MGMAT SC (read through this twice and redid problems a couple weeks ago), CR, Number Properties, Geometry, Inequalities/Vic/Fractions, Word Translations
Basic PR Book
Basic Kaplan Book

CATS:
Kaplan - 550 - last year
PR1 - 570 - around Jan this year
(The past 2 months)
PR1 - 640 34/45
PR2- 570 30/39
PR3 - 650 37/43
GMATPrep1 - 680 42/44
PR4 - 600 31/42
GMATPrep2 - 630
GMATPrep1 - 620
GMATPrep2 - 600
GMATPrep1 - 700

I didn't keep record of the past few GMATprep breakdown scores, and the very last two tests the software didn't record my actual answers in the review mode so I'm not even sure if the test correctly graded my performance. My scores consistently keep my Quant in the 40-43 range and my verbal flucuates a lot.

If anyone has any advice for me and for my strategy I would really really really appreciate it. At this point I know I just have to get my butt into gear and drive it home - which I can DO, I just need a little bit of help figuring out how I should proceed with a new plan..

Thank you!
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Re: 630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2008, 14:48
Dont lose heart, there's nothing in your practice scores that indicated that you'd hit 650+ unfortunately :(. I'd recommend a strong course of verbal. If you can get that upto 40+ level you'll see optimum benefit. Its great that you've identified one weakness (number properties) already. You would have 6 practice tests from MGMAT (that you get courtesy of your books), use those. They are far tougher than the real GMAT, if you can consistently score 670+ in those, you'll certainly hit 670+ in the real thing. Also try the gmat club challenges. They ask a ton of number properties questions. You will certainly improve that aspect of it.

Good luck.
Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Other
GPA: 3.64
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 70 [0], given: 78641

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Re: 630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2008, 16:37
When you say a strong course in verbal, what exactly do you mean? Are there any books you recommend? I'm running out of problems to do - but I do have that GMATTERS application.
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Re: 630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2008, 16:53
If you have gmatter then you have over 1000 SC and over 2000 CR to practice with. What I mean is that you can get maximum benefit out of improving your verbal. You can try to practice the way I do :

- Every day - 30 minutes of SC from gmatter. Focus on accuracy rather than speed. After 30 minutes how determine how many you got right (say 15 out of 20) and then give yourself an SC ability score. Over time you'll see the benefits. If you don't understand WHY something is correct, then post here. Try a similar strategy for CR.

Good luck.

jlola21 wrote:
When you say a strong course in verbal, what exactly do you mean? Are there any books you recommend? I'm running out of problems to do - but I do have that GMATTERS application.
Joined: 31 Dec 1969
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Re: 630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2008, 08:19
Thanks bsd :) I am trying to not be glum right now, it's hard! I feel so deflated. I will try doing that, thanks a bunch!
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Re: 630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2008, 08:57
jlola, looking at your scores I have to concur with the rest of the board. 620-630 looks on par for you. Your verbal spiked twice, but I bet that is because you saw a majority of the verbal RC & CR presented in GMATPrep in the OG, and had some familiarity with it. Then you spiked in Gmatprep from a 600 to a 700. My guess is you didn't reinstall and saw a lot of repeat material.
Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Other
GPA: 3.64
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
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Kudos [?]: 70 [0], given: 78641

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Re: 630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2008, 09:46
Okay that is fine! I am not trying to say I deserved a higher score, I am just looking for advice moving forward. But the fact that I did run out of time I'm sure negatively impacted my score. As much fun as it is harping on my past scores and talking about how 630 is on par - I'd appreciate advice on moving forward, becuase I would like to do better than 630 ;).
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Re: 630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2008, 14:17
jlola21 wrote:
Okay that is fine! I am not trying to say I deserved a higher score, I am just looking for advice moving forward. But the fact that I did run out of time I'm sure negatively impacted my score. As much fun as it is harping on my past scores and talking about how 630 is on par - I'd appreciate advice on moving forward, becuase I would like to do better than 630 ;).


Dont lose heart - I think a with a little more practice you will get that score you want. Time was defintely an issue for me the first time around also. But, I've been practicing alot - and not just doing a bunch of problems but really disecting each problem and undersatnding what it is that's being tested.

Im an engineer so my quant preparation has primarily been understanding the little GMAT tricks and rules to ensure that I dont make silly mistakes. Now, for the verbal, what has helped me immensely was reading the wall street journal (I got a subscription to it so every morning when I leave for work, it's there to remind me to read at least one section). Of course, it's not an over night thing - I've been reading it for the past 6 months or so. By doing so, this has helped with each topic: SC (you cant just read it though -- you have to actively read it and identify what the subject, verb, what's modifying what, etc), RC, and CR. The sentence structure in the WSJ is very similar in nature to the GMAT SC.

And, as everyone has said, actively participate. and really, there's not much more advice to give than..just practice, practice, and practice. there's no magic pill or solution. Good luck!
Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Other
GPA: 3.64
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 70 [0], given: 78641

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Re: 630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2008, 18:36
Thanks gmatblows! Agggghhh I hate this test right now. For RC and CR I make little notes like MGMAT suggests - but it is SOOO time consuming!! I think that's another factor that is hurting me... do you guys have any other ways you tackle those problems or do you also do the shorthand strategy?

I definitely will practice practice practice... but I can't lie, I can't wait till its over over over! :-)
Re: 630 - Need Strategy Moving Forward   [#permalink] 09 Jun 2008, 18:36
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