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670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE!

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Joined: 14 Aug 2011
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Concentration: Marketing, Technology
GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V32
GMAT 2: 750 Q50 V41
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670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2012, 11:01
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Hi fellow clubbers,

I appeared for my second attempt on 01 Oct. I was waiting for the official score report before posting my story and I received it today. Scored 750 (98%) and the split is Q 50 (90%) V 41 (93%) IR 7/8 (81%) AWA 6/6 (90%). I am pretty happy with my score, given that I wasnt sure of the IR section. :-D

First Attempt:- I had taken the first attempt in May 2012, after about 4 months' preparation, before the IR section was introduced. I thought that I could get away without having to deal with a new section. I have been out of school for almost 12 years now and have never appeared in a standardized test before, so it was not an easy task for me. The verbal section was especially tricky because there were a number of concepts that were alien to me as I am a non-native speaker of English. I used all the MGMAT strategy guides alongwith OG 12 during my initial preparation. During the advanced stages I used Verbal Review ( 2nd Edition), RC 99 , 1000 SC and a collection of CR questions for verbal prep. For Quant I used the 25 GMATCLUB CATs and the GMAT Club Quant book. This book is a collection pf PDF files and is an amazing resource for some of the shortcuts that can help you save time during the test. I used 5 MGMAT CATs and averaged between 670-710 in those. During the final two weeks I attempted GMAT Prep tests and scored the following:-

GMAT Prep 1- 730 ( Q 48 V 41)
GMAT Prep II- 740 (Q 49 V 41)

I was confident that I would do well and went into the first attempt expecting a cakewalk. The AWA and Quant sections were fine, but the real shocker was the verbal section. I was totally lost and all I can remember is that I was constantly trying to understand the question and simultaneously looking at the clock. By the time I finished, I was exhausted and the score reflected my true performance - 670 (Q 49 V 32).

I decided that I would retake and crack the 700 barrier. I needed some time off so I decided to take a break for about a month and a half.

Second Attempt:- It was Jun end by the time I decided to pick my books up again. I made up my mind to take the next attempt in the first week of October. The only reassurance I had was that many test takers whom I had spoken to, told me that there would definitely be an improvement in the next attempt. I believed them! I quickly decided that the focus should be on quality rather than on quantity and carried out preliminary research on the courses available. I came across Magoosh and opted for it only for the reason that it offered a 50 point improvement guarantee and that it was not very expensive. I also purchased OG 13 because I wanted to practice the IR questions that were available with the book. Otherwise, there is no major difference between OG 13 and OG 12. The Magoosh premium membership also allowed access to the new GMAT Club Quant CATs ( 14 of them). I finished off with the Magoosh course in about 2 months and reserved the last month for additional practice. During the last month I used the following resources:-

Quant- Jeff Sackman Challenge Sets
GMAT CLUB Tests- Highly recommended if you really want to push your quant scores and work on time management. I started off with scores
between 34-36 and moved up to 48-51 towards the end.

Verbal- I knew that I needed a lot of improvement in the Verbal section. I did not solve a large number of questions. Instead I focused on the following:-
RC and CR from Magoosh
Set of 200 tricky SC questions ( Made sure that I read detailed explanations for each problem at the MGMAT website)
Problems from OG 12.
I also solved a variety of problems from other resources such as Grockit.
Additionally,I watched the videos of Ron Purewal's Thursday sessions on MGMAT website. These videos are really helpful.

I only used the 50 IR practice questions available with OG 13. I also practiced AWA with each practice test that I took.

During this period I also took a number of practice tests ( one every week). Score progression is as follows:-

03/07 Prep GMAT- 730 ( Q 48 V 41)- Lots of repeats from OG
15/07 Platinum GMAT practice CAT (free)- 690 ( Q 50 V 35)
22/07 Grockit free CAT- 700 ( Q 49 V 39)
29/07 Veritas free CAT - 680 ( Q 45 V 42)- Lowest Q score ever despite getting 30/ 37 correct.
05/08 Master GMAT free CAT 700 ( Q 48 V 39)
MGMAT CAT 6 (leftover from the previous attempt)- 740 ( Q 46 V 45)
26/08 MGMAT CAT 1A ( Retake) 750 ( Q 48 V 44)
02/09 KAPLAN- 670
05/09 Master GMAT (Retake) 740-760 ( Q 50 V 42)

09/09 GMAT Prep I 2.0 750 ( Q 50 V 42)
16/09 GMAT Prep II 2.0 750 ( Q 50 V 42)

23/09 GMAT Prep I retake 780 ( Q 50 V 47)- Needless to say almost 65% questions were repeats

Time management is an essential aspect of doing well on the test. It is advisable to divide the total time into slots of 10 mins each for 5 questions during the Quant section and 9 mins each for 5 questions during the Verbal section.

Test Day experience After the initial formalities, I started with the test. AWA was pretty straightforward and I finished it with about 4 mins to spare. IR was trickier than expected and I could only finish the first 2 questions in about 8 mins. Thereafter, I rushed through the next 5-6 questions, although I wasn't really sure if I was solving them correctly. There were a couple of CR type questions. Guessed the last question because of paucity of time and took the first break for Quant. During the beak I sipped some gatorade and stretched my arms and legs. I kept telling myself that I was doing fine and that I should focus on the next section. Quant started off well and I was in sync with my time plan. Whenever I found myself lagging behind, I quickly made an logical guess and moved on. That way I was able to ensure that I finished in time. PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF TEST DAY SUCCESS IS AN EFFICIENT TIME PLAN. I took the next break and was pretty satisfied with my Quant performance. Sipped on some more Gatorade, stretched a little and got back in for Verbal. This time around there were no shockers :wink: Everything was inline with my expectations and I realised how important it was to understand the correct approach. Although I tried my best to stick to a time plan, I ran out of time during the last question and ended up with a blind guess. Quickly moved through the BIQ screens before the following visual appeared before me:-

FINAL GMAT- 750 ( Q 50 V 41) :-D

My final scores were identical to the scores in the final Prep tests. I think these tests are a reasonable indication of your likely test result.

Recommendations:-

Study Material (Quant) - MGMAT Strategy guides
OG 12/13
GMAT Club Quant book
GMAT Club Quant CATs ( as I said earlier, these tests are really challenging and will help you fine tune your preparations to a
great extent)

(Verbal) - MGMAT SC guide (Read it twice before the second attempt and make short notes of the concepts)
Powerscore CR bible ( Some of the techniques listed in the book are really helpful)
Magoosh Verbal RC/CR questions (Helped develop the required techniques for RC and CR)
OG 12/13
Questions from Grockit.com verbal section (Has a really cool one month membership for as little as INR 700/-)
I would definitely recommend the Thursdays with Ron videos - An invaluable resource.

I would definitely recommend the MGMAT CATs but I found the Quant section more calculation intensive than the actual test. The verbal section however, is easier than the actual test. Besides these, you can use the various free CATs available across various forums. Use the GMAT prep software judiciously.

I am sorry for the long debrief. Please let me know if you guys have additional questions. I will be happy to help!

Last edited by Viking81 on 18 Oct 2012, 22:45, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2012, 11:12
What attributed to your verbal improvement most. It appears to me as a host of factors like more practice, TWR Videos, full length tests and familarity with the test environment.

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GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V32
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2012, 17:58
Hi AbhiJ,

SC requires a clear understanding of concepts and application of rules- an aspect that needs careful attention and practice. Dealing with RC questions is about formulating the right approach to deal with the passages so that you do not spend too much time reading the passage- Reading the first line of each para in detail and skimming the rest is something that worked for me. In CR, the most important thing according to me is to understand the question type and pre-phrase possible answers. More number of full length tests definitely helped me fix my time management which is an essential element during the test.Familiarity with the test environment probably also helped a lot in easing my nerves.
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2012, 19:52
WOW ...great score. Accept my heartiest congratulations. Your Gmat1 score is same as mine and I hope I can say the same for your Gmat2 too.
I want to write the same stuff with similar score on the sheet.:)

Your hard work has paid off well, and I wish you good luck for your application.

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GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V32
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2012, 04:10
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gurpreetsingh wrote:
WOW ...great score. Accept my heartiest congratulations. Your Gmat1 score is same as mine and I hope I can say the same for your Gmat2 too.
I want to write the same stuff with similar score on the sheet.:)

Your hard work has paid off well, and I wish you good luck for your application.



I am sure we will get to read a similar debrief from you gurpreet singh. All the best for your G day :)
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 10:22
Can I ask if you took a prep test as a reference score *BEFORE* you started studying for the GMAT? If so, what was the score?
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 12:05
Hi Viking81,

Great debrief.
Did you practice the SC idioms extensively? The rumor is that idioms are phased out. I am not too sure how much to emphasize on idioms ! Let me know your comments.

Thanks.
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 15:06
Thanks for the inspirational post; we always need more of them. Congrats on your great score.

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GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V32
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 17:49
sepandee wrote:
Can I ask if you took a prep test as a reference score *BEFORE* you started studying for the GMAT? If so, what was the score?



I did take a GMAT Prep test before I started my preparations. I scored a 630 (Q 45 V 31) and honestly, I was pretty satisfied with my score back then. :wink:
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 17:53
saunak wrote:
Hi Viking81,

Great debrief.
Did you practice the SC idioms extensively? The rumor is that idioms are phased out. I am not too sure how much to emphasize on idioms ! Let me know your comments.

Thanks.


Hey saunak,

From what I remember from the test day, I don't think I noticed glaring idiomatic errors. The errors were more meaning related and there were nearly 60% questions that could be solved by using standard parallelism and subject-verb agreement rules. I did not emphasize idioms at all during my preparations this time around and I am quite sure I did not see any questions based solely on idiomatic errors.
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GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V32
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 17:54
ngould wrote:
Thanks for the inspirational post; we always need more of them. Congrats on your great score.


Thanks ngould. Hoping to hear similar stories from all fellow clubbers.
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 19:27
I was wondering, how many hours a day or hours per week did you study?
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 22:42
Thanks for an encouraging post. I'm working right now on improvement from 710 to 750 (some people think it is not worth doing:)
Please share your perspective on Quant - do you think Gmatclub tests reflect difficulty level of the real thing?
Because after answering (probably correctly) first 15 questions I felt like original Quant was way harder.
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2012, 05:02
alexvf24 wrote:
I was wondering, how many hours a day or hours per week did you study?



I would say I averaged around 3 hrs/day other than the test days. I take more time to assimilate things so I think I needed to spend more time.
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2012, 05:08
kstyle wrote:
Thanks for an encouraging post. I'm working right now on improvement from 710 to 750 (some people think it is not worth doing:)
Please share your perspective on Quant - do you think Gmatclub tests reflect difficulty level of the real thing?
Because after answering (probably correctly) first 15 questions I felt like original Quant was way harder.


I would say that the most important aspect that one develops by solving GMATCLUB tests is time management. Also, no other prep material actually reflects the higher level of difficulty of the actual test. During the test I felt that it was more important to understand the correct approach to the problem. Higher level problems involve mixed concepts and one needs to understand clearly what he/she is asked. e.g. A problem involving geometrical figures may actually be a combinations questions ( I saw one such question on my test).
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Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE! [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2012, 10:39
[quote="Viking81"]Hi fellow clubbers,

Set of 200 tricky SC questions ( Made sure that I read detailed explanations for each problem at the MGMAT website)
Problems from OG 12.
I also solved a variety of problems from other resources such as Grockit.
Additionally,I watched the videos of Ron Purewal's Thursday sessions on MGMAT website. These videos are really helpful.
[quote]

Hi Viking81,
Congrats on the great score ! Just wondering if you can help me getting "Set of 200 tricky SC questions". I searched it a bit and have not been able to find it.

Thanks a lot !
Re: 670 to 750 - IT IS POSSIBLE!   [#permalink] 12 Nov 2012, 10:39
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