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670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will

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Joined: 04 Jun 2010
Posts: 113
Concentration: General Management, Technology
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 670 Q47 V35
GMAT 2: 730 Q49 V41
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670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 04:37
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Well I just got back from the test center and I can absolutely say I'm done with the GMAT.
If you are wondering about the topic it's some of the words of a song called Remember the name by Fort Minor. These words really got me pumped, I truly recommend anyone needing some motivation or self confidence to hear some pump up music before getting inside the test center. The split is Q49/V41 and I will give a more detailed update later today since I'm going to celebrate..
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For my previous debrief go to: http://gmatclub.com/forum/670-q47-v35-need-your-help-101653.html
Back from the celebrations, had some wine and stake and ready to report in to my favorite GMAT forum.
Let's start with the meat:

Books & materials used


Prep material includes almost anything I could get my hands on. At first, before my first go around, I bought Kaplan premier, Kaplan 800, MGMAT SC, MGMAT Word Translations, OG 12, OG Verbal review. After studying with these book for about a month, I went for an MBA Tour conference where I met Master GMAT's very persuasive marketing people, who convinced me to enroll into their course. Well I must say that in retrospect, their course, at least in my opinion, is very mediocre. The issue that stands out the most is reading comprehension. They keep asking questions about the same 2 or 3 reading passages, it is really far from being enough to ace the GMAT. Furthermore, they advice to stick to only one strategy that involves reading only the first one or two lines of every paragraph. This strategy evidently did not work for me, and I can now say that reading comprehension was one of my weakest spots before the first GMAT. But enough about Master GMAT, which if you did not understand until now I do not recommend unless you want to get 600 or so.
After the first somewhat disappointing experience I bought several more books, LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible and Critical Reasoning Bible. I was already pretty good in CR but I decided to sharpen more my skills since I realized that the GMAT has increased the CR level compared to the level I experienced during the GMATPrep software. LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible is also an excellent book, which I strongly recommend to anyone struggling with how to strategically attack the reading comprehension part.
Beside these books I also enrolled into Knewton course, which as you all know promises 50+ or money back. Well I can swear that I wasn't going to demand the money back even if I would only improve by 30 points, and I was really skeptical about being able to improve by 50 or more. Well Knewton held there part of the bargain, and I can honestly recommend Knewton as probably the best and closest to the real thing there is.
The Knewton course has excellent structured program, with very GMAT like questions. The Knewton staff and teachers are awesome, and very helping. I liked the live class where you can take part even if you sit thousands of miles away from where the class takes place. Knewton has several wining strategies and can help you fine tune your skills. On the other hand Knewton has one really annoying issue, which many before me complain about - their CATs. Well I can say that in the verbal it looks pretty close and accurate to the real thing, I got a V40 on my last Knewton CAT. In the quants part the scoring is quite ridiculous, I had 7 well spread mistakes in my last CAT and received a poor 45. Nevertheless these CATs are excellent practice and Knewton is very recommended from my side of experience.
Besides the books and Knewton, I also solved part of the GMATPrep SC document, which is very recommended after you've exhausted the GMATPrep software. The links to MGMAT forum with Ron's excellent explanations are invaluable.
Last but not least I got a great bargain with Knewton and received the GMAT Club tests. I only solved a few but every one that I solved , helped me tune a bit more my quants skills.

Test scores


Well this go around I decided, along with the advice I received from members of this forum, to not do so many tests. If you'd look into my previous report, I definitely exaggerated the importance of taking mock tests. Tests are there to help find where are your weakest areas, and let you know that you need to improve these areas and only than try and attempt another test. This is one sound advice that you have to take, believe me there is no point in doing 2 weeks straight of tests. Here are the tests I took:
Knewton Diagnostic Test : 670 (Q46/V36)
Knewton 1: 660 (Q45/V35)
Knewton 2: 680 (Q47/V35)
Knewton 3: 600 (Q42/V32) - Got stuck on a single question and really blow this one.... :x
Knewton 4: 690 (Q45/V40)

GMATPrep (V1 the older one, the one you can not download from MBA.com)
I uploaded it myself http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmatprep-v1-103400.html
Test 1: 750 (Q49/V41)
Test 2: 710(Q49/V36)

Length of study


Well as you already know this was my second round. the study for the first one started around mid July and after I took the first one in September I studied till the very last day (not inclusive :-D ) . The time I devoted was 2-3 hours on work days and about 7 hours on weekends.
Last time I took two weeks and half off work and this time I only used up a week.

Self made resources


I am attaching the SC Rules table I created, which concludes all the rules I could deduce from the various resources I used, including examples.

Words of Advice


- Don't give up. I repeat DON'T GIVE UP. I was very depressed and frustrated after my first time, and it seemed almost impossible to get into the 700 club. Determination and devoting your strong hours to the job will make you jump over the edge. I can truly say that the score did not come easy to me, I worked hard and gave up any social life for the good of the cause. Your family and friends will understand. This test is hard, unless you are a genius, you need to prepare well. Along with a demanding job it is really hard to make the cut.
- RC strategy that worked for me is reading the all passage and going back to specific parts when needed. I believe that unless you are a native speaker, skimming is not an option. In my second GMAT I was ahead of time must of the verbal part, when I include a very thorough reading. It actually helped save time when comparing to the strategy I was given by Mater GMAT.
- SC, buy the MGMAT SC book and read it again and again. Every page in this book is important, you can be tested on so many grammar rules that you can't even grasp when you begin to study. Even after knowing all these rules you can still fall for some subtle logic of the evil :evil: GMAC. So be prepared. Besides the great book you will also get great tests. The quants part in MGMAT test is in my opinion not very similar to the real GMAT, but there are people who say this is the closest thing you can get besides the GMATPrep. Also seeing how MGMAT CAT algorithm work helps you grasp what is the CAT all about.

Feel free to ask any question.
Good luck beating the beast.. :P
Attachments

File comment: SC Rules Table (Excel 2003)
SC Rules Table (2003).xls [55 KiB]
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File comment: SC Rules Table
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My TOEFL Debrief: http://gmatclub.com/forum/my-toefl-experience-99884.html
My GMAT Debrief: http://gmatclub.com/forum/670-730-10-luck-20-skill-15-concentrated-power-of-will-104473.html


Last edited by rafi on 08 Nov 2010, 09:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Senior Manager
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 04:52
Congrats!!!! and why don't you update your profile with your new score? :)
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Posts: 113
Concentration: General Management, Technology
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 670 Q47 V35
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 09:20
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srjaidev wrote:
Congrats!!!! and why don't you update your profile with your new score? :)

Thanks man, updated both my profile and the debrief..
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My TOEFL Debrief: http://gmatclub.com/forum/my-toefl-experience-99884.html
My GMAT Debrief: http://gmatclub.com/forum/670-730-10-luck-20-skill-15-concentrated-power-of-will-104473.html

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Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 321
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
Schools: CBS '14 (A)
GMAT 1: 590 Q47 V25
GMAT 2: 560 Q47 V20
GMAT 3: 600 Q47 V25
GMAT 4: 680 Q49 V34
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 10:04
Congrats for your score and Kudos for your determination.
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Status: Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. It's a dare. Impossible is nothing.
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 12:53
100% reason to remember the name. Congratulations !

I remember the song .... :wink: Need for speed blacklist! I know from the title you are done .
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 22:57
congrats rafi,

u've got deadly combi of toefl n gmat scores .looks like u're headed to ur dream school all the best with ur appli :)
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2010, 09:48
great job man
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Joined: 04 Jun 2010
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Concentration: General Management, Technology
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Kudos [?]: 107 [0], given: 43

Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2010, 07:20
Thanks you all and good luck!
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My GMAT Debrief: http://gmatclub.com/forum/670-730-10-luck-20-skill-15-concentrated-power-of-will-104473.html

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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2010, 07:55
Wow. Excellent improvement. Thanks for the debrief. What preparation material did you use for verbal ?
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2010, 23:52
Dreamy wrote:
Wow. Excellent improvement. Thanks for the debrief. What preparation material did you use for verbal ?


Sorry for the late response (again :) ) . I used OG12, OG Verbal, LSAT RC bible, MGMAT SC, and the stuff I got from the Knewton course.
Feel free to ask more questions. I promise it will take me less time to answer now.
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My GMAT Debrief: http://gmatclub.com/forum/670-730-10-luck-20-skill-15-concentrated-power-of-will-104473.html

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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 13 Nov 2010, 12:22
This is great! Thanks for the debrief +1
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2010, 18:59
amazing score n title 4 ur post....gud luck!!
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 18 Nov 2010, 06:38
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GOOD LUCK
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 18 Nov 2010, 13:31
Nice and inspiring debrief, I liked it. +1 Kudos!
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2010, 07:37
Congrats...Gr8 score.
Gud luck with your application
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2010, 07:59
Thanks all for all the wishes.. Good luck in your journey..
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My GMAT Debrief: http://gmatclub.com/forum/670-730-10-luck-20-skill-15-concentrated-power-of-will-104473.html

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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2010, 11:20
great score...inspiring! good luck for your apps!
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2010, 12:35
Hi Rafi,

Congratulations for the great score .. I found that in GMAT prep v1 , practice questions are same as GMAT prep 2 ..did you also observe the same..Just want to make sure that I am using the correct version..I used the link you provided above for v1.
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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2010, 00:32
Hi,
Well I personally only observed overlap with OG12, especially in the first test. In the second test I felt I have not seen any question before.
I did V2 4 times (each test) so if there was a question from v2 I think I would remember, but it's possible I missed one or two.
Give a try to both tests. It is better than doing V2 over and over again. Let me know if you have more questions..
Good luck..
Rafi
sv76 wrote:
Hi Rafi,

Congratulations for the great score .. I found that in GMAT prep v1 , practice questions are same as GMAT prep 2 ..did you also observe the same..Just want to make sure that I am using the correct version..I used the link you provided above for v1.

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My GMAT Debrief: http://gmatclub.com/forum/670-730-10-luck-20-skill-15-concentrated-power-of-will-104473.html

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Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2011, 19:30
Congrats and kudos to you.
Re: 670->730 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will   [#permalink] 05 Jan 2011, 19:30
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