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660 to 730!

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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Status: Yeah well whatever.
Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 347
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 660 Q42 V39
GMAT 2: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.49
WE: Analyst (Insurance)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 51 [4] , given: 17

660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2012, 08:36
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Hey folks,

I'm excited and relieved that I finally crushed this test and made it to the 700 club! I've come to realize that I'm not naturally good at many things and that it often takes me several attempts at a thing in order to master it. Now I know that a 730 isn't considered mastery to some folks who get 770's and 780's and crap like that but for me this is epic. I dreamed of doing this and saw people who I thought were much smarter than me do it (really they were just as smart as me). So I thought it was impossible. Let me tell you a little about myself.

Here's what I did differently:

1) I determined that I would do every single problem in the official guide.

This is important. When I took it before, I did many problems but not all. I once figured that since the Manhattan Gmat math problems were tougher, I should do them and they would make me kill the official guide problems. The only problem with that thinking is that they are two completely different tests. They use many of the same principles and one is very predictive of the other but if I want to beat the test, then I need to STUDY TO THE TEST!!! Doing every single problem from the actual test writers is a critical step to beating this test! Manhattan Gmat math problems tend to have many more tricky steps than the real GMAT and I think that they take longer. Also, I don’t know how to describe it but the sentences on MGMAT tend to be written differently than the ones from the test writers.

2) I got organized.

Since I knew that there are five sections of the test, I got a bunch of regular printer paper (maybe 600 sheets), and seperated it into five sections for each of the five sections of the official guide. Then I went into MS Excel and made a table for each section with my answer, the right answer, and a brief comment. I then went to Kinkos and bound these papers with a spiral for $5. I learned this trick for all the 7 million cases that Darden gives you in the first year of its MBA. I didn't use the answer sheets to answer the questions but I used them to gather all of my answers of several hundred pages. And I looked at my percentages over time to see how I was progressing or regressing. I used the pages behind those tables I wrote my scratch work and wrote my answers.

3) I USED THE ARCHER!!!

OH MY GOSH!!! If you hear nothing else that I say, then please hear this: The best tool for GMAT studying is the Manhattan GMAT Archer!! The practice tests and classes are great. Don't get me wrong but I saw the most improvement in my scoring when I began to use the Archer. It's worth it to go and buy a Manhattan Gmat book for $26 just to get access to this thing. Here is a link. http://www.manhattangmat.com/ogc-plus.cfm I bought the Official Guide 12th edition companion just to access the practice tests and the Archer with explanations came with it. But they had explanations (many times better than the ones in the official guide) in the Archer that sometimes were explained over 10 minute videos. It times you. It shows you where you're weakest. It gives you real time feedback. And that immediate feedback helped me to correct wrong thinking that I didn't know I had.

4) I REVIEWED MY ANSWERS!

The Archer is pointless if you don't sit and learn from your mistakes. I went back over my scratch work for both the OG 13 questions and the practice test questions and wrote out the correct way to do the problems with a red pen. I'm a very visual learner. So I knew that "if I could see it then I could do it" to quote R. Kelly. And I burned the image of my mistakes in my mind until I stopped making many of them. It is that serious.

In summary, I liken the GMAT to my favorite video game, Halo Reach. Navigating the virtual environment of both requires that you know the rules cold and then that you apply them a lot in practice. And once you apply them over and over they become a second nature to you and you're actually able to use the constraints to your advantage. For instance, when I first began playing Halo I didn't know the patterns that the aliens I fought moved in. This made it terribly difficult to shoot them while dodging their bullets. As a result I hated precision weapons... because I wasn't precise. But once I determined that I loved this game and was going to put my heart and soul into mastering it, I was actively learning without making it a conscious chore to learn. And I got better and better until the precision weapons became a major strength of mine. Likewise, in the GMAT everything that you learn is a tool. You just have to learn to leverage it to your advantage. And experience with careful review and study of that experience will teach you exactly how to do that. So be encouraged, folks. If I can do it then anybody can do it. And hopefully this 730 opens doors for me but we'll see.

Lastly, I don't mean to offend anyone but if this next thing offends you then kindly get over it. As an MBA you'll have to work with people of all sorts of backgrounds. I would like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for encouraging my spirit when my soul was in utter despair. He gives me hope and the same way that He taught king David's hand to make war He taught my mind how to beat the Golaith of the GMAT. I will not boast in anything else (not even a good GMAT score) but Him because I got whatever I got from Him anyway. Be easy, folks!! I wish you the best!
_________________

He that is in me > he that is in the world. - source 1 John 4:4


Last edited by vannbj on 21 Jul 2012, 09:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Status: Yeah well whatever.
Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 347
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 660 Q42 V39
GMAT 2: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.49
WE: Analyst (Insurance)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 51 [0], given: 17

Re: 660 to 730! Journey of A Current MBA Student [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2012, 08:59
Oh yeah. And here are my scores on practice tests.

660 (40 V 40 Q) - June 20, 2012 Manhattan GMAT
670 - June 20, 2012 GMAC
700 (40 V 46 Q) - July 10, 2012 Manhattan GMAT
730 (41 V, 48 Q) - July 16, 2012 Manhattan GMAT
720 (42 V, 47 Q) - July 18, 2012 GMAC
680 (37 V, 45 Q) - July 19, 2012 Manhattan GMAT (I was exhausted when I took this one)

730 (42 V, 48 Q) - July 20, 2012 This is the real test. "Ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby."
_________________

He that is in me > he that is in the world. - source 1 John 4:4

Current Student
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Concentration: Finance, Finance
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
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Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2012, 11:06
Well done! It's always great to hear another success story. Imagine the different in your application with a 730 GMAT vs a 660. In fact, that GMAT score will not keep you out of any Bschool in the world. Now it's your turn to CRUSH your applications. Go in with the same drive and motivation as you did with your GMAT and I'm sure you'll be just fine.

Congrats again
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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Status: Yeah well whatever.
Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 347
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 660 Q42 V39
GMAT 2: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.49
WE: Analyst (Insurance)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 51 [0], given: 17

Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2012, 14:55
Thanks, GMATLA!! I'm actually already in b-school. I just retook the test in order to make myself more attractive for consulting. They weren't feeling me too much with my old score.
_________________

He that is in me > he that is in the world. - source 1 John 4:4

Manager
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Joined: 25 Jun 2012
Posts: 115
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V40
GMAT 2: 740 Q48 V44
GPA: 3.48
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 18

Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2012, 16:31
Congratulations on your huge improvement! I'm in the process of studying for my re-take and using OG13 as well. I've been experimenting with a somewhat similar organization technique by using five composition books to record work, answers and errors. I'm glad this technique paid off for you. Between your 660 and 730, did you only do OG13 problems?
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Status: Yeah well whatever.
Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 347
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 660 Q42 V39
GMAT 2: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.49
WE: Analyst (Insurance)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 51 [0], given: 17

Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2012, 04:23
HImba88, Thanks for the love, cuz. I didn't only do OG 13 problems. I did the problems in the mgmat practice tests. If I had scheduled the test for a week or two later then I would have done the math and verbal OG books too. My score would probably have been higher if that were the case (then again maybe though). Whatever you do just make sure you use the Archer and review every error until you know the right way forward and backward. Between June 20th and July 10th I was doing that a lot and you can see that it raised my score something vicious. I did it even more in the last 10 days of my gmat study and got a score that I only dreamed about before.
_________________

He that is in me > he that is in the world. - source 1 John 4:4

Current Student
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Joined: 07 Feb 2012
Posts: 36
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
GPA: 3.81
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
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Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 1

Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2012, 08:10
vannbj wrote:
HImba88, Thanks for the love, cuz. I didn't only do OG 13 problems. I did the problems in the mgmat practice tests. If I had scheduled the test for a week or two later then I would have done the math and verbal OG books too. My score would probably have been higher if that were the case (then again maybe though). Whatever you do just make sure you use the Archer and review every error until you know the right way forward and backward. Between June 20th and July 10th I was doing that a lot and you can see that it raised my score something vicious. I did it even more in the last 10 days of my gmat study and got a score that I only dreamed about before.
So did you use the electronic version or hard copy of archer? I clicked the link and looks like there are three archer options for purchase. How many questions would you do before you reviewed the answers?
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Status: Yeah well whatever.
Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 347
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 660 Q42 V39
GMAT 2: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.49
WE: Analyst (Insurance)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 51 [0], given: 17

Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2012, 08:41
Paradox69 wrote:
vannbj wrote:
HImba88, Thanks for the love, cuz. I didn't only do OG 13 problems. I did the problems in the mgmat practice tests. If I had scheduled the test for a week or two later then I would have done the math and verbal OG books too. My score would probably have been higher if that were the case (then again maybe though). Whatever you do just make sure you use the Archer and review every error until you know the right way forward and backward. Between June 20th and July 10th I was doing that a lot and you can see that it raised my score something vicious. I did it even more in the last 10 days of my gmat study and got a score that I only dreamed about before.
So did you use the electronic version or hard copy of archer? I clicked the link and looks like there are three archer options for purchase. How many questions would you do before you reviewed the answers?


Once I realized that there was an electronic version I only used that. With the way that they have questions in the official guide you get the equivalent to a certain number of actual gmat tests. I think it's 10 but you'll have to look it up for yourself to verify that. So for instance, if there are 124 critical reasoning questions in the official guide of increasing difficulty then probably 12 of the 41 verbal questions on the gmat will be critical reasoning. I broke it out like that and would sometimes do the equivalent of 1-2 whole tests in a day. Once I started doing it like, especially with the timely feedback I was getting from the Archer, my mind began to obsesses over it. It became more like a video game I wanted to beat instead of a stupid test.
_________________

He that is in me > he that is in the world. - source 1 John 4:4

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User avatar
Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 316
Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q39 V35
GMAT 2: 620 Q43 V33
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V40
Followers: 10

Kudos [?]: 66 [0], given: 3

Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2012, 18:48
Firstly, congrats on the big score increase!

vannbj wrote:
Thanks, GMATLA!! I'm actually already in b-school. I just retook the test in order to make myself more attractive for consulting. They weren't feeling me too much with my old score.

Can you shed a little more light onto this. Do consulting companies rely heavily on GMAT score while hiring ?
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Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2012, 22:22
Thanks for the tip. Just got the electronic archer. At $14, I personally think that its worth it. The OG answer explanations suck
Senior Manager
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Status: Yeah well whatever.
Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 347
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 660 Q42 V39
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GPA: 3.49
WE: Analyst (Insurance)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 51 [0], given: 17

Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2012, 10:01
Zynga wrote:
Firstly, congrats on the big score increase!

vannbj wrote:
Thanks, GMATLA!! I'm actually already in b-school. I just retook the test in order to make myself more attractive for consulting. They weren't feeling me too much with my old score.

Can you shed a little more light onto this. Do consulting companies rely heavily on GMAT score while hiring ?


Absolutely!! Whether it's fair or not, even at elite MBA schools like mine I think it's one of the first tools that they use to weed people out. Last year a few were willing to talk with me but none save Deloitte extended an interview to me. And Deloitte extended that interview at the National Black MBA conference before they knew my GMAT score. (btw I highly recommend that everyone go there regardless of your race. It's an awesome opportunity.). I was told that top consulting firms won't even look at you unless you have a 700+. This wasn't completely true. I got them to look at me. But they didn't want to extend me an offer with a 660. It just wasn't happening. And it's not like a 660 is a bad score. I worked my but off for that 660! Even in the summer before we started classes at my school, the career services folks suggested that it might be a good idea to retake the test if our gmat was below 720. They said that the average gmat for those interviewed at any consulting company was 720 and that the average gmat for those extended an offer was close to 730. These were summer intern offers. So I guess my point is that the score on that test is more important than any score you get in any class and it will influence much of your career.
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He that is in me > he that is in the world. - source 1 John 4:4

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Joined: 05 Jul 2011
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Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
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GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V40
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Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2012, 11:13
vannbj wrote:
Absolutely!! Whether it's fair or not, even at elite MBA schools like mine I think it's one of the first tools that they use to weed people out. Last year a few were willing to talk with me but none save Deloitte extended an interview to me. And Deloitte extended that interview at the National Black MBA conference before they knew my GMAT score. (btw I highly recommend that everyone go there regardless of your race. It's an awesome opportunity.). I was told that top consulting firms won't even look at you unless you have a 700+. This wasn't completely true. I got them to look at me. But they didn't want to extend me an offer with a 660. It just wasn't happening. And it's not like a 660 is a bad score. I worked my but off for that 660! Even in the summer before we started classes at my school, the career services folks suggested that it might be a good idea to retake the test if our gmat was below 720. They said that the average gmat for those interviewed at any consulting company was 720 and that the average gmat for those extended an offer was close to 730. These were summer intern offers. So I guess my point is that the score on that test is more important than any score you get in any class and it will influence much of your career.


thanks ! that is is an incredibly useful piece of information
_________________

My GMAT Debrief : http://gmatclub.com/forum/third-time-s-a-charm-142800.html#p1145912
Quant Concept Videos : http://gmatlife.blogspot.com/2012/07/gm ... ideos.html
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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Status: Yeah well whatever.
Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 347
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 660 Q42 V39
GMAT 2: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.49
WE: Analyst (Insurance)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 51 [0], given: 17

Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2012, 20:40
Zynga wrote:
vannbj wrote:
Absolutely!! Whether it's fair or not, even at elite MBA schools like mine I think it's one of the first tools that they use to weed people out. Last year a few were willing to talk with me but none save Deloitte extended an interview to me. And Deloitte extended that interview at the National Black MBA conference before they knew my GMAT score. (btw I highly recommend that everyone go there regardless of your race. It's an awesome opportunity.). I was told that top consulting firms won't even look at you unless you have a 700+. This wasn't completely true. I got them to look at me. But they didn't want to extend me an offer with a 660. It just wasn't happening. And it's not like a 660 is a bad score. I worked my but off for that 660! Even in the summer before we started classes at my school, the career services folks suggested that it might be a good idea to retake the test if our gmat was below 720. They said that the average gmat for those interviewed at any consulting company was 720 and that the average gmat for those extended an offer was close to 730. These were summer intern offers. So I guess my point is that the score on that test is more important than any score you get in any class and it will influence much of your career.


thanks ! that is is an incredibly useful piece of information


No problem. Anything that I can do to help just let me know. I will see what I can do.
_________________

He that is in me > he that is in the world. - source 1 John 4:4

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Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2012, 07:42
Congrats! This is such an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: 660 to 730! [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2012, 22:19
very nice !! God bless you for your dream school's applications.
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Re: 660 to 730!   [#permalink] 26 Jul 2012, 22:19
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