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640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears

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640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2009, 03:24
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Well, blood and tears will be stretching it too much... but whatever increases the hits :wink:

So I came back today, sitting with this fine quality wine, celebrating and sharing with my brethren here, the experience and few other words of wisdom (to add to the already brilliant collection)...

Second attempt 700 (Q48, V37, AWA5.5, me-very happy)
First attempt, end of November 640 (Q48, V29, AWA5.5)


Some history on prep-scores-
GMAT Prep
Aug (very first prep) - 680(48,30) <--so I've been very loyal to quant
Aug 650 (44,35)
Sep 720 (47,42)
Nov 720 (49,40)

MGMAT
Sep 590 (38,33)
Oct 640 (43,34)
Nov 720 (47,41)
Nov 670 (47,34)
Nov 700 (46,40)

Princeton
Oct 650 (44,36)

Platinum GMAT
Nov 690~700 (Q48-49, V35-39) <-quite accurate, huh?

GMAT prep 2
Dec 730 (48,42)
MGMAT
Dec 750 (48,45) <--spike due similar questions from the pool i guess

Materials referred
OG12 - had my own hard copy error log (divided into sections "Found difficult", "Trap", "Silly mistake", "Tips to remember")
MGMAT guides - SC is a must have but not enough by itself. Needs to be supplemented with tons of practice. 1 week before the retake, I went through the brutal SC and another tough SC list compiled by another club member, sondenso
GMAT Club Tests - By far the best prep material. This retake I had at least 2 questions where I could use the skills developed taking those tests. Also taught me to silly mistakes.
MGMAT challenges - For the retake. Did close to 40%. May not be so useful, only if you are looking for additional practice.
Elements of Style by William Strunk - The only book I read not directly related to GMAT, but definitely useful (i'd purchased on suggestion from another gmatclub member)
and... TONS OF PREP MATERIAL HERE!! Not to be missed are the regular forums and awesome people who are helpful for your every doubt and confusion. Reminds me of the penguins who prod each other along walking uphill.

After 640 on first attempt, for a week, took a hiatus but returned to the attack with these additional weapons:
Powerscore CR bible - Be prepared for the LSAT style CR guyz. If not in the extreme tough category, but at least familiarize urself with tougher questions that in OG
The 1000 series (spotted and kept doing the toughies in RC and CR as I reckoned those as the weakness in the first attempt. So much of practice, something had to give, glad it was the gmat and not me :wink: )


And I think this post will be more useful to the mortals rather than to the prodigies (the club is filled with them :) ). So if you feel that you belong to the latter group, go chill, have a beer or something.
Others, if you are just starting your prep, set your target, see how much time you have preparation (typically 3 months is needed, lesser if you can devote yourself full time). There is a flood of preparatory material, so apart from the OG (which must be thoroughly finished), take your pick from those and proceed step-by-step.
Get the foundation and basic concepts right before trying on difficult or tricky questions. Both for quant and SC, basics and foundation are very very important. e.g. on a higher-difficulty level, I remember messing up 1 DS question where I struggled to remember the formula for a parabola (2 quadratic equations given, asking if they intersect or not in xy plane).

For those who are in the mid of their preparatory battle, nothing can replace practice. I felt that there is only so much that studying intelligently works. To understand the question, decide on an approach to solve, calculate and figure out an answer in 2 minutes under exam conditions... practice will get you salvation. Also for verbals, I saw in some other forums and by my own experience, it is advisable to be prepared for tougher questions than GMAT prep (I think it's time that GMAC revises the CD and practice tests. I don't feel so comfortable giving the real test after trying on something 2-3yrs old)
I'd chosen the brute force approach from early on, practiced as much as I could. Thanks to my generous employer too who gave a carte blache on unpaid holidays before this second attempt.

And for those who are almost there (I know few of us were in the same boat of disappointing verbal score)- You will do it too for sure, go and hit it hard! All the best!!

Last but not the least, happy end of year to all. THANKS SO MUCH to everyone for making this happen for me and I hope to see few of you in the b-school I go to (now starts the apps!).

Ending this long thread with some more tipsy-tips
Test Conditions... If you think that you are a morning person, schedule for early time and make sure you practice all the prep-tests in similar timings. 1 week before the real deal if you feel that health isn't going well or, say, if you are turning into a evening person, re-schedule! The headphones they gave to me, gave me a headache, so for those wearing glasses, maybe wearing contacts would be a good idea so that the glass frame doesn't worsen the situation.
For nose diggers... yaa, the treasure hunters- blow ur nostrils and clean up before starting with the test man! it's a distraction if u start digging in the mid of a complicated problem... and in case u do hit gold, u risk losing track of the equation and thus risk losing the real gold.
Sexual tension - well, maybe this thread gets censored due this :wink: but u do have to consider all the factors which may potentially distract you during the test. So take whatever measures you have to for the tension-release (there's something about Mary)
Dandruff issues... for those with a dry scalp, shampoo before the test. You know... those flakes dropping while you shake your head to a frustrating CR! Get all the distractions out of the way :lol:
BO - if u have it, use deo rather than realizing in the mid of the test that later on if you explain to the girl sitting in the next cubicle that it's due to gmat that u've not showered for the past 3 days and came to the test center in the same clothes u've been wearing for ages, maybe that'll be excuse enough and you can still ask her number... or maybe you also have to add that 'hey, my OG smells the same now too'... whatever convoluted reasoning that is.
Music - Do you sometimes find those songs, which just grips the inside of the brains for days together and doesn't let go... during the days leading to the test, I did avoid the usual practice of switching on to the top-20 countdowns etc.
.... I guess it is a never-ending list, but u get the gist of it. Life sucks until the G-day is over.

There is the bright side to it, because you start reading all office emails with a snicker. Not looking at the grocery register to figure out the amount of change due (well, sometimes at least 8-) ) and knowing names like chineseburned!

Quoting one of the RCs [Thomas Paine’s 'what we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly.']

-edit for awa score, same as the 1st attempt!-

Last edited by gmattokyo on 05 Jan 2010, 05:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 01:13
Interesting tipsy tips.

Your score in 5 MGMAT test scores give impression that these tests, perhaps are a bit more difficult that the real one.

Can you kindly share your experience with MGMAT tests?

Good luck with you apps.
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 04:53
HI Gmattokyo..congratulations!

Could you please post the link to the SC questions collection by Sodenso.

Thanks
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 05:39
Hey,
Congrats on your score!
I just wrote mine yesterday, got a 640 like you did the first time around.

My verbal score was really low, I usually do a lot better. Did you use MGMAT to prepare for your first exam?
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 08:41
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thanks so much!

tarun wrote:
Interesting tipsy tips.

Your score in 5 MGMAT test scores give impression that these tests, perhaps are a bit more difficult that the real one.

Can you kindly share your experience with MGMAT tests?

Good luck with you apps.


tarun, MGMAT tests is definitely worth taking and highly recommended. After official prep tests and the quant challenges here, MGMAT is the best source of budget-practice available (though not an exact metric, as I feel that they try to keep it a tad tougher than the real test and have a limited pool of questions). But hey, when u get any of their guides, u get free access to the tests, so it is real bang for the buck (and for the really budget conscious ones, amazon kindle sells the guides for a much cheaper price + u don't have to worry about the international shipping either! catch is to provide receipt etc. to mgmat support for the access to the tests etc.).

ggmatt wrote:
Could you please post the link to the SC questions collection by Sodenso.

ggmatt,
It's there in one of the threads... guess i wouldn't harm to re-upload if it helps u... so attaching it along

lunasea29 wrote:
My verbal score was really low, I usually do a lot better. Did you use MGMAT to prepare for your first exam?.


It wasn't mgmat alone (had also gone through the Princeton review), but yes, the mgmat sc guide is a strong foundation. For RC, last few weeks, at the rate of 1-2 RC everyday. Few more for CR.
Do supplement it with other sources. You already have experience with the real test and know where you need to cover up on...


let me know in case of any follow-up queries and I'll try to be regular with answers amid the new-yr parties, apps, and work....
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 08:45
Congratulations gmattokyo!

Kudos to your persistence!

And amazing tipsy tips, can totally relate to them..:-)
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2009, 01:17
Thanks for posting the documents gmattokyo
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2009, 04:53
gmattokyo wrote:
thanks so much!

tarun wrote:
Interesting tipsy tips.

Your score in 5 MGMAT test scores give impression that these tests, perhaps are a bit more difficult that the real one.

Can you kindly share your experience with MGMAT tests?

Good luck with you apps.


tarun, MGMAT tests is definitely worth taking and highly recommended. After official prep tests and the quant challenges here, MGMAT is the best source of budget-practice available (though not an exact metric, as I feel that they try to keep it a tad tougher than the real test and have a limited pool of questions). But hey, when u get any of their guides, u get free access to the tests, so it is real bang for the buck (and for the really budget conscious ones, amazon kindle sells the guides for a much cheaper price + u don't have to worry about the international shipping either! catch is to provide receipt etc. to mgmat support for the access to the tests etc.).

ggmatt wrote:
Could you please post the link to the SC questions collection by Sodenso.

ggmatt,
It's there in one of the threads... guess i wouldn't harm to re-upload if it helps u... so attaching it along

lunasea29 wrote:
My verbal score was really low, I usually do a lot better. Did you use MGMAT to prepare for your first exam?.


It wasn't mgmat alone (had also gone through the Princeton review), but yes, the mgmat sc guide is a strong foundation. For RC, last few weeks, at the rate of 1-2 RC everyday. Few more for CR.
Do supplement it with other sources. You already have experience with the real test and know where you need to cover up on...


let me know in case of any follow-up queries and I'll try to be regular with answers amid the new-yr parties, apps, and work....



Hey Gmattokyo
Thanks for the posting and your replies. How did you deal with fatigue during the exam? I posted my experience in GMAT Experience forum, please feel free to take a look at it if you are interested.
took-my-gmat-got-640-need-some-advice-88535.html

I personally felt burned out by verbal, so I didn’t perform as well as I should have.

Where did you get the 1000 series for CR and RC? So you advise for RC is to do 1 or 2 passage per day, to get use to it? I personally was thinking that I need to do more practice exam, out of all the mock exams, I have just attempted to write it once from start to finish, including the AWA section, that could have been one of my downfalls.

Did you feel like the score you got on verbal on MGMAT was higher than your GMATPrep? I getting like 35, 36 on my MGAMT, but for the GMATPREP, I got much lower scores, in the low 30s, I felt like MGMAT exaggerated my verbal score, maybe I’m wrong.

Thanks so much for answering, I’m glad you got this over and done with, enjoy the rest of your year!
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 05:26
lunasea29 wrote:
gmattokyo wrote:
thanks so much!

tarun wrote:
Interesting tipsy tips.

Your score in 5 MGMAT test scores give impression that these tests, perhaps are a bit more difficult that the real one.

Can you kindly share your experience with MGMAT tests?

Good luck with you apps.


tarun, MGMAT tests is definitely worth taking and highly recommended. After official prep tests and the quant challenges here, MGMAT is the best source of budget-practice available (though not an exact metric, as I feel that they try to keep it a tad tougher than the real test and have a limited pool of questions). But hey, when u get any of their guides, u get free access to the tests, so it is real bang for the buck (and for the really budget conscious ones, amazon kindle sells the guides for a much cheaper price + u don't have to worry about the international shipping either! catch is to provide receipt etc. to mgmat support for the access to the tests etc.).

ggmatt wrote:
Could you please post the link to the SC questions collection by Sodenso.

ggmatt,
It's there in one of the threads... guess i wouldn't harm to re-upload if it helps u... so attaching it along

lunasea29 wrote:
My verbal score was really low, I usually do a lot better. Did you use MGMAT to prepare for your first exam?.


It wasn't mgmat alone (had also gone through the Princeton review), but yes, the mgmat sc guide is a strong foundation. For RC, last few weeks, at the rate of 1-2 RC everyday. Few more for CR.
Do supplement it with other sources. You already have experience with the real test and know where you need to cover up on...


let me know in case of any follow-up queries and I'll try to be regular with answers amid the new-yr parties, apps, and work....



Hey Gmattokyo
Thanks for the posting and your replies. How did you deal with fatigue during the exam? I posted my experience in GMAT Experience forum, please feel free to take a look at it if you are interested.
took-my-gmat-got-640-need-some-advice-88535.html

I personally felt burned out by verbal, so I didn’t perform as well as I should have.

Where did you get the 1000 series for CR and RC? So you advise for RC is to do 1 or 2 passage per day, to get use to it? I personally was thinking that I need to do more practice exam, out of all the mock exams, I have just attempted to write it once from start to finish, including the AWA section, that could have been one of my downfalls.

Did you feel like the score you got on verbal on MGMAT was higher than your GMATPrep? I getting like 35, 36 on my MGAMT, but for the GMATPREP, I got much lower scores, in the low 30s, I felt like MGMAT exaggerated my verbal score, maybe I’m wrong.

Thanks so much for answering, I’m glad you got this over and done with, enjoy the rest of your year!


Hi lunasea29, I've seen similar verbal experience with few others in the club too. I think it is trouble if we get complacent with the official GMAT verbal prep scores. Don't think that mgmat verbal is any easier that gmac-prep though... but both are old now and need to revised I think.

The 1000 CR and RC I'd downloaded from one of the preparation sites, I'll email if you want to try those?

1-2 RC and few more CR everyday was during the last few weeks leading to the test (and I was selective to pick only the ones which looked difficult). Before the first attempt I had assigned evenings (like wed-thu is verbal, sun-mon quant, sat-mock) so at that time it was more quantity.

For fatigue, plenty of rest the day before the test (at least a sound sleep). And as you doing, taking the complete test, including AWA section. I did it for almost all the preps.

thanks and all the best to you too!
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2010, 13:45
Very helpful study tips. Error log time for me...
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2010, 02:43
awesome score ..congrats ..good advise
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2010, 17:11
great post and congratulations!
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2010, 17:44
Expert's post
Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!
And thank you for sharing.
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 02:01
bb wrote:
Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!
And thank you for sharing.


Thanks bb and to everyone else too.
The complete credit for the jump and confidence in quant scores goes to gmatclub tests. So guyz, don't skip that!
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 02:13
Nice tips.

Good luck with your application.
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Re: 640 -> 700, 4 weeks of Blood, Sweat and Tears   [#permalink] 20 Jan 2010, 02:13
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