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680 - A bit disappointed

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680 - A bit disappointed [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 14:51
Hi Everyone

I've not been quite a contributor here (yet). I took the GMAT last week and got a 680. While I do realize that by no means is it a shabby score, I'm not too impressed either. I was getting 700+ in all the mock tests I took and was really hoping to beat the 750 mark. Anyways...

My study strategy the first time around:
1) Went through all of Kaplan Premier
2) Went through all the OG's (the Orange book and the Quant/Verbal books)
3) Started with the Kaplan 800 but never finished it.
4) Re-did all the problems I thought were hard/wrong.
5) Gave 6 mock tests (5 from GMAT prep and 1 from MGMAT)

I also used the Manhattan SC book to work on my SC.
I spent ~6 months (from start to finish) studying and spent the last 3 months (May/June/July) really studying

GDAY:
- I was pretty confident I'd do well. I had done well on the mock tests. However, I messed up somewhere on my Quants and ended up with just 30 seconds and four questions to go (reading the forums I think this is a very common mistake people make). Needless to say, I just clicked through so I'd not lose any more points. The questions I got on the Quant were moderate to hard.

- Verbal seemed easy but I ended up with a V37. I was tad disappointed.

Since then I've been trying to analyze what went wrong and see what I can do to improve.
Quantitative:
- Improve my quant timing.

- Improve my basic math skills

- I am in the habit of solving each and every DS problem until I am certain of the answer. I need to learn to gauge when enough is enough.

- Lastly, I got the feeling that my math concepts are still rusty. I'm going to have to dig deeper into refreshing them. Maybe actually get a high school level book? I found this book on the net : http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/download.aspx

Verbal: Things that could have gone wrong:

- I screwed up the SC - more than I think I did. I thought I was picking the right answers but could have picked the wrong ones? Since I do not have any issue with timing on the verbal section, I should write the reason why I reject each SC answer. Then check if my answer matches that in the OG. Of course, I dont need to do so in the real exam.

- I've not come up with a "formula" for tackling SC questions. Should I spend time learning (to a point of cramming so its in my head) the grammar concepts from the Manhattan SC book? Or maybe the key is to slow down, understand each sentence (extract the meaning) and then pick an answer.

- CR/RC: Maybe do the LSAT CR and RC questions to get tougher questions. That way the GMAT may seem easier. I've read that many people have tried this strategy successfully. Even if I can get most of the CR/RC right and as many SC's as I can right, this could boost my Verbal score.

From the top of my head I'm thinking of using the following for Round 2:

- OG (just the last 50-75 questions for each section that were tough)
- Kaplan 800
- Redo Manhattan GMAT. But slowly.
- GMAT Hacks (http://www.gmathacks.com): I've read on a few forums (beatthegmat.com) that the gmat math bible has great explanations. Has anyone used this? Would you recommend this?
- MGMAT tests. Their quant is surely tougher and more wordier. Might be a good exercise for the brain.

I'd really appreciate your feedback on how I can spend the next 6-10 weeks and prepare well.
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Re: 680 - A bit disappointed [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 18:36
If you have got 37 on vetrbal then you can definitely make 700 + .

Moving from 44 Q to 50 Q can be achieved just by matter of taking enough practice tests and learning how to pace .

thnks,
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Re: 680 - A bit disappointed [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 22:21
Thanks a lot Abhay.

Just wondering if you have any comments on what type of material I should practice on? Do you know anything about the GMAT hacks stuff?

I got a Q47 on the math so a 50 would surely help :)
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Re: 680 - A bit disappointed [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2008, 06:23
I also got 700+ consistenly on GMATPrep, only to get 660 in the real GMAT. I stumbled on one or two questions, totally lost rythm on quantitative and had no time at the end to finish.

For SC, everyone says to get Manhattan GMAT SC, so that's what I'm getting to study. Do you have this?
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Re: 680 - A bit disappointed [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2008, 06:56
It might be possible to break 700 with a Q50, V37 (Should be about a 710), but I'm not sure you realize what that might entail. Going from a Q47 to Q50 is going to be very difficult. I actually think that by learning more of the basics you could go from V37 to V42 easier and Q47,V42 is about a 720. You might even review some of the math while you're concentratign on the verbal - and you might end up with a Q48 and low 40's Verbal which would be even better.

It's going to be far easier to improve the verbal from V37 than go a bunch higher to Q50 unless you just didn't prepare for the Quant part at all last time. Then I say go for the Quant improvement. Even going from a V37 to a V40-40 should give you a 700 - 710. I think you'll find it much easier to move 3 points from the 81% percentile to 89% or 92% in verbal than 79% which is Q47 to 94% which is Q50. See how 3 raw points in quant is a much higher percentile than 3 raw points in verbal? You're jupming 15% in quant vs. only 8 or 11% in verbal and getting the same resulting overall score.
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Re: 680 - A bit disappointed [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2008, 06:44
yubjun: Yes I have the Manhattan SC. I think I need to study it more deeply.

jallenmorris: I agree that breaking the 50 barrier might be much tougher than just improving my score. However, even if I do not try to improve my Quant that much, I think improving my timing on Quant in itself might be a large win simply because I never got to finish the last few questions.

What kind of study strategy would you suggest? Should I just redo the OG (last 100 questions) + Kaplan 800 and the MGMAT tests? Or something else?

Thanks!
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Re: 680 - A bit disappointed [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2008, 06:56
I've heard not answering the last few questions can be really bad. What I was told to do was to simply guess. I believe a wrong question is viewed as not as bad as an unanswered question. Not sure if that holds true.

Definitely do the last problems in the OG.

The MGMAT tests are pretty good. I would concentrate on your timing. Set targets for your progress. Like at question 12, you should have 50 minutes left. Question 24, 25 minutes left.

You can even break it down more, but do something that allows you to know your pace.

I break it down like this:

Done with Question # = Remaining on clock
6 = 1:01 remaining
12 = 49 remaining
18 = 37 remaining
24 = 25 remaining
30 = 13 remaining
33 = 7 remaning
If I see 13 remaining and I'm not to question 30 yet, I pick up the pace and analyze the question before I start working on it. I do this to get an idea of how long I think the question will take me. Ironically, when I've thought a question will take me a long time to complete, I took 10 seconds, looked at the question and a shorter method popped into my head. Got it right AND saved time!

I hope this helps.

rahulm wrote:
yubjun: Yes I have the Manhattan SC. I think I need to study it more deeply.

jallenmorris: I agree that breaking the 50 barrier might be much tougher than just improving my score. However, even if I do not try to improve my Quant that much, I think improving my timing on Quant in itself might be a large win simply because I never got to finish the last few questions.

What kind of study strategy would you suggest? Should I just redo the OG (last 100 questions) + Kaplan 800 and the MGMAT tests? Or something else?

Thanks!

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Re: 680 - A bit disappointed [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2008, 21:16
That helps a lot. Thanks!
Re: 680 - A bit disappointed   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2008, 21:16
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