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640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41)

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640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2009, 15:56
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I'll be brief.

Passed the Gmat mid november, got 640 (q43, v35), needed 700, scheduled a retake and just came back, got 720 (q48, v41). That a 80 points increase, from percentile 74 to 94... I'm quite happy with myself :-D

It came down to one word for me: confidence. I knew I could get that score on the first time but was way too stressed to actually perform as I should have.

To fix that, I took two weeks (would have taken a month but the rush of the end of semester obliged me to concentrate on other priorities) to revise some of the concepts I didn't quite get (combinatorics and SC, mostly). I crammed 30 hours of study the last 3 days. I made sure I could face any questions given with confidence. Then I left this morning with no stress and one thought: killing the test.

The major advice I would give is to study like you are used to. I read a bunch of advices (probably quite good ones I'm sure) that said that you should relax before the test, take a day off and such, and I did that the first time only to leave on exam day completely stressed out because I thought I hadn't done enough .. so yeah, everybody is different, just study like you think you should ...

And a last word about Manhattan material. I ordered Manhattan SC after my first test and really, I now understand why you guys call it the bible. In comparaison with most of the guides I had, Manhattan really gets down to grammar rules and that's what I needed (I'm a native french speaker and my english grammar is a: bad and b: far far away). Also, a small word on their prep tests: they're awesome. I know some people do not like them because they think the algorithm is screwed up (e.g. 15 errors but still 47-48 on quant) but I think that what the guys did at Manhattan is to create a system that would push your boundaries and oblige you to fight harder concepts than those you are used too, while giving you a glimpse at the score you might had have at the real thing. And they succeeded fine in doing that.

that's it! thanks and i'm out, no more gmat, that is such a relief. might not have been that brief after all ...
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2009, 08:37
Felicitations on the awesome score!!
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2009, 10:30
Congrats logmeup. Thats a gr8 improvement. can you please tell me which books you used for Math and English(except manhattan sc)? I find myself in the same place as you. I scored a 650(Q44,V35) a couple of days back, aiming for a 700+score, have registered myself to retake GMAT in a months time. So if you could please highlight what different approach you have taken this time around? Thanks.

Last edited by macsin on 22 Dec 2009, 11:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2009, 11:00
Congrats on the great score logmeup! Can you provide a little detail on the strategy you used to increase your Quant score? That's a pretty good jump in only a month.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2009, 12:33
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Thanks all for the congrats. Please do not hesitate to ask further questions if my answer aren't satisfying, I know what it is!

What I did differently: i studied smart over studying hard (OK I studied hard in a smart way). That means stop doing exercices just for the sake of doing them and really analyzing your weakenesses to fix them. That goes for both quant and verbal. More on that below

For QUANT:
Well like I said in my post I knew I could achieve this score on my first shot but screwed up, mostly due to stress I think. In under to reduce my stress level, I made sure I was as ready as I could be.

Between the 2 test I did:

- 3 full Manhattan Prep test: great to speed up your quant + the explanations are simply awesome and really helped me in grasping further concepts.

- 3-4 Gmat PREP, QUANT only. I made a document with my mistakes and did them again to make sure I'd be able to easily do them afterward

- I really went through my errors in a more serious manner. The first time around I was doing exercices to do exercise to be like, yeah I did 40 exercices today. This time, I really went through my mistakes to make sure I -understood- how to resolve it next time. The thing is, with stress and 2 minutse per problem, you basically have no time to screw around trying to get to know how to resolve a particular type of problem. There's not that many different types of problems on the gmat (exposants, algebra, combinatorics, rates/speed, geometry, ...) so just make sure that you know how to get to an answer for all of them, for most of the questions.

VERBAL:

- In my two weeks I only used Manhattan SC and did some of the 1000 SC questions. I also used the mistakes file of a friend (50 questions more or else) that were all quite hard. When I got the Manhattan manual, I compared my errors on the OG12 with the matrix available at the end of the guide to check where I was doing most of my mistake + with the problems numbers at each section. It turns out most (50%+) of my mistakes were on parallelism and pronouns. I worked on that. Just doing that really helped me in improving my SC skills.

- I need to say that apart from my SC skills, I maybe did 15-20 mistakes on the 350-400 questions on RC and CR in OG12, and about 1-2 errors on the prep tests, so I didn't have any issues with that (the manhattan tests gave me a hard time though).

- BE carefull with the GMAT Prep software: since its verbal question bank is not that big, it screws up your score big time after 2-3 retest (my thoughts!)

MORE:

Here's a bit more on what I used/did, I'll try to update my first post but I'm kinda in a rush to finish my applications + life (christmas gifts, work, studies, ...)

What I'd do differently: LESS exercices and MORE exercice explanations. Study smart and get to know: HOW to solve problems and WHAT are your flaws. I did too many exercices "just to do exercices". It helped (a lot) in the beginning but if you are scoring 600-700 right now, you need to get down to the concepts and make sure you really understand them well + you can make up ways to answer gmat questions. So yeah, exercices to get to 600+, then a further study of concepts and exercice explanations.

GUIDES I used and score on a 5 pts scale
- Kaplan 800 (3/5): nothing more really I was a bit disappointed by that guide
- Princeton Review (4/5): Good starter to get basic concepts. I read it once and then used it for reference
- OG12: exerices
- Prep test: I can't remember how many I did. 10+ for sure. Gmat Prep 2005, 2006 + Powerprep, Manhattan Preps. I redid a lot the gmat preps quant part and I kept having 50% of new problems everytime..
- Manhattan SC 5/5
- This forum and testmagic: for explanations as well as for exercices. great resources. pitfall: I spent too much time checking out how people were studying which freaked me out on my first test i think.
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2009, 13:08
Thanks logmeup, thts a logical approach. i'll try it out. anyways all the best with the applications and have a wonderful christmas!!
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2009, 15:01
Awesome and I am looking forward to emulate your feat? Wish me luck...
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2009, 10:30
Logmeup, how did you on the MGMAT Cat Exams? Can you please provide us your scores? I have only been doing MGMAT Exams lately, and I have not been doing to well on them lately. I am trying to guage how the MGMAT compares to the GMAT PREP and actual GMAT. My last score was only a 670 (47Q,34 V)
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2009, 15:18
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here are my full test score (score, q, v)
before my first exam
princeton
1: 680, 44, 40
powerprep
1: 720, 45, 44
2: 730, 48, 42

gmat prep 2006
1: 710, 47, 41
2: 680, 47, 42

gmat prep 2005
1: 720, 48, 41
2: 740, 47, 44


manhattan cat
1: 720, 44, 45
2: 640, 42, 35

before my second exam
gmat prep 2005, quant only. Only about 20-25 questions were new to me on those:
46, 48, 49, 47, 46

gmat prep 2006:
3 (retake 1): 730, 47, 42
4: (retake 2): 760, 49, 44

manhattan CAT
3: 670, 45, 36
4: 680, 48, 34
5: 720, 44, 44

Please note that i did the (3) and (4) manhattan cat around 8-9 pm and was quite tired when i got to verbal so might not be quite acurate.

BTW I think the verbal on manhattan prep tests are quite representative of the real thing. Gmat prep is too easy. For Manhattan, CR are harder but SC are easier.

hope that helps!
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2009, 18:14
Congrats! Your emphasis on reviewing explanations and pinpointing flaws is noted. I'll try to get more excited about my error log and how it can be a powerful resource. :)
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2009, 22:37
Great achievement Logmeup. congratess.
Can you please tell me how you got 2005 and 2006 gmatprep ??
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2009, 08:31
What practice CAT's would you recommend using? Right now, I intend to use GMATPrep, Manhattan, and gmatclub. Should I try to get assess to Kaplan and PowerPrep as well?
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2009, 20:55
Thank you for taking the time to post your scores. Your verbal scores for the MGMAT exams are great. Did you find the last 2 MGMAT exams (5 & 6) on par or more difficult than the Actual Gmat exam? I wish the GMAC would update the GMAT prep exams since it appears the actual GMAT is becoming harder.
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2009, 22:03
burnttwinky wrote:
Thank you for taking the time to post your scores. Your verbal scores for the MGMAT exams are great. Did you find the last 2 MGMAT exams (5 & 6) on par or more difficult than the Actual Gmat exam? I wish the GMAC would update the GMAT prep exams since it appears the actual GMAT is becoming harder.


Your verbal scores are great. Any suggestions for tackling CR?
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2009, 09:36
Both Gmat prep can be found on this forum, topic "GMATPrep (GMAT Prep) & PowerPrep (Power Prep) Free Tests"

As for which ones I recommend, I haven't done Kaplan and I think Powerprep presents an easier exam but this is just my opinion. I haven't done gmat club tests but I only read great things about them!

I haven't done mgmat cat 6 but i didn't really see a big difference in term of difficulties between the exam. I perceived the first ones to be particularly difficult because I was rushing to finish the quant part. I'd say the mgmat gives you a good approximation of what score you could expect, but it is not representative of the number of mistakes you should/will do on the real test (read my first post for more thoughts on that)

With CR, I'd recommend other posts that tackle the subject better than what I could ever hope ;P Since I didnt have any issue with CR, my recommendations might not be the best ... My only 2cents would be that you have to be able to easily find on what the argument relies... Again, I think the CR of mgmat are so hard that they can teach you a lot on "how" to think, but that is again my opinion, I know that some find them so ridiculously hard that there's no point of doing them ..
here's some post on this forum:
- Critical Reasoning for Beginners
- My Critical Reasoning notes on mgmat -> ask student services subforum. This one is way too extensive but again, I think, gives you a nice overview.
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2010, 02:31
I think the MGMAT CAT is the best except for GMATPrep
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2010, 02:51
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2010, 05:28
great debrief
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2010, 22:25
thanks for the post!!!!
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41) [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2010, 06:27
GOOOOD!
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Re: 640 to 720 in a month (q48, v41)   [#permalink] 31 Oct 2010, 06:27
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