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640: Q36, V40 - Quantative trainwreck, Verbal saved my day.

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Joined: 13 Jun 2013
Posts: 8
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Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 8

640: Q36, V40 - Quantative trainwreck, Verbal saved my day. [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2013, 11:35
In the last 7 weeks I prepared myself for the GMAT. My focus was almost entirely on the quantitative part as I tested well on verbal, even though it is not my native language.

Almost everything I'd learned as a child I had forgotten about math. Didn't remember how to do a simple division on paper or how to solve for x.
So I focused on the very pre-algebra basics first.

After that, after about 2 weeks of studying with Magoosh and MGMAT I did my first GMAT Prep test and I scored 37 on Quantitative.
Then in the 5 weeks after that I studied 3 hours a day with Magoosh and MGMAT and was really starting to grasp most concepts and my brain was turning into GMAT-thinking mode.
5 days before testday (today) I did another GMAT Prep test... Q43! I felt ready and confident for test day and spent the following days reviewing notes and doing some OG13 practice questions, which went very well and to which I was able to apply concepts I had learned to solve problems in a short time.

Then today, test-day. After an hour on AWA and IR (which didn't matter much for me as the school I applied for doesn't take them into account, so I was easy-going) the long prepared for quantitative section started, and I felt OK.

However: I got lost on the first question and never recovered. The first 10 questions seemed rather simple, I knew in fact they were basic, but I could not get a clear head about how to solve them. I had all kinds of 600+ level formulas and properties and such in my head, but forgot how to solve basic word problems. Also they presented me with probably the one geometry issue I didn't know everything about. This frustrated me into spending too much time on them, as I thought 'this must be solvable, common!' and had spent already half an hour after 30 minutes.

The whole session seemed an unfortunate selection of quantitative questions that were my weak points or which I didn't study (for example; I know exactly how to determine number of trailing zeros in x!, but got asked about amount of zeros after the comma of a division), all the stuff I could dream I had not been given the chance to apply. The questions that I did solve to 1 answer I solved by lengthy calculations and plugging in answer choices. I did not perform any of the tricks I had put in my sleeve the past weeks. No use of knowing about special quadratic equations, no use of knowledge of properties of 30-60-90 triangles, no use of solving 2 equations with 2 unknowns. Perhaps all these were in fact hidden in the word problems, but I failed to see it and was simply lost. Especially as I also wasted valuable time.

At the very end I knew for sure that I messed it up as I got such a simple question it was unbelievable, even the first 10 questions of the OG are harder. It was along the lines of 'John earned 4200 dollar in 2012, if he earned 4300 this year what was the percent increase?'

Knowing that I knew it had to come down to verbal. Although I wasn't helped by a short break (I raised my hand for 3 minutes before someone came) and the annoying noise of a faulty computer fan making chainsaw noises I managed to pull it off and was presented with a screen that gave a huge relief: 640! Did the trick with Verbal: V40 - 90th percentile.

Although I needed 600, and I basically passed that, and although I am of course relieved and happy that I passed... it is quite annoying knowing that the 150 hours of studying for quantitative (2 hours on verbal, lol) was lost on this specific session (remember I tested Q37 unofficially weeks ago). So it could have been a 680-700 score which could have come of use perhaps within the next 5 years and would have looked nice on my resume. Not sure now if I should put 640 on my resume/linked-in. It is still better than average, but below the 650+ that the top 50 schools seem to require.

(Oh and on IR time ran out 2 seconds before I could submit my answer, which were correct I think, meh :P)
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Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Economics
GMAT 1: 690 Q42 V42
GPA: 3.93
WE: Other (Other)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 3

Re: 640: Q36, V40 - Quantative trainwreck, Verbal saved my day. [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2013, 17:24
I had the same experience. I spent most of my time (55%?) preparing for the math section, and towards the end of my studies, I was routinely scoring in the 44 - 46 range. On the day of the test, I spent 15 minutes on the first three questions of the math part and got them all wrong. I started to panic, but luckily I regained composure and finished the section (ended with a 42). I didn't use a single one of the tricks and strategies that I learned (group formulas, rate pies, special right triangle ratio's, etc) at all during the test.

Either way, your score is pretty solid so good job.
Re: 640: Q36, V40 - Quantative trainwreck, Verbal saved my day.   [#permalink] 05 Jul 2013, 17:24
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640: Q36, V40 - Quantative trainwreck, Verbal saved my day.

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