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690 > 760 Retake!

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2 KUDOS received
Intern
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Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 11
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 9 [2] , given: 3

690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2011, 18:14
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Hey all,

First, thanks to everyone for the help over the past few months. I didn't post much (I lost my password and couldn't figure it out, so I had to start a new account), but I was on the site a lot looking at answer explanations and study strategy. Second, after my first test I was pretty bummed and I read a lot of stories looking for motivation, which is why I wanted to share my story.

So onto the story..

Before I started studying or knew too much about the GMAT, I took a GMATPrep test to get a baseline and got a 670. My goal was 700+, so I was pretty happy that I was close. I was able to take some time off work after the holidays, so I spent about three weeks studying 5 days a week, about 6-7 hours a day. I took the weekends off to relax and have fun. I started with the Kaplan Premier book and worked through those questions. I then started working through all of the MGMAT books. I was pretty comfortable with Verbal, so I spent minimal time on those. I worked through the MGMAT CAT tests, and scored consistently in the 680-720 range. Before the actual test, I scored a 730 and 750 on GMATPrep tests. I was feeling pretty confident as I went into the test aiming for low 700s.

I thought the test was going decently, but I raced through the verbal section and ended with 25 minutes to spare. When I saw the 690, I was really disappointed. I knew right away I was going to retake it. I felt pretty burned out after studying, so I took a few weeks off from the GMAT to recharge.

My re-study plan was to go over the MGMAT books again, take a few more tests, and get it done with. I also ran through the Kaplan 800 book to improve my comfort with the tougher questions. I felt pretty good about my level of competency with the GMAT questions in general, I just knew I needed some additional polish. Since I was working again, I tried to study ~1 hour per weekday and ~3 hours per weekend, balancing verbal (mostly SC and Critical Reasoning) and quant (mostly DS questions). I ended up taking 2 practice MGMAT tests (730/750) and one GMAT Prep test (750).

After about a month of light studying, I retook the test. I went into the test feeling really confident, but certainly feeling the pressure. The quant felt really hard, but I noticed I didn't get any combination problems and only one geometry question. The verbal felt pretty good, but again, I finished with about 15-20 minutes to spare (and that was even when I was trying to slow down!). As I clicked to see my score, I couldn't believe that I was seeing a 760- higher than any of my practice tests!

The key takeaway is to be confident when you take the test. If you don't do as well as you want, you can always retake the test and improve!

Now onto the apps.... woohoo!
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
Intern
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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2011, 19:30
Hey buddy, first of all many congratulations for the score!!

Tell me which books you referred to polish your math skills. I took GMAT once and got 660. I want to retake it and this time my target is 750.

Thanks!
Intern
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Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 11
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
GPA: 3.9
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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2011, 04:56
For quant, my primary study guides were the kaplan800 and the MGMAT books. The MGMAT books/CATs really give you a good sense of where you have weaknesses. The kaplan800 book was useful in that each question was pretty tough so the actual tests felt easier in comparison and I noticed that the 700-800 level questions were much more manageable.

I also found both series to be very helpful for verbal. I was always strong in verbal, but not consistent. Taking the time to work through tougher SC and RC questions helped me understand the patterns better. Moving from the ~85% to 98% bucket in verbal not only helped my score, but bought some flexibility in the quant score- any time you can take pressure off your weakest area it will help!

Good luck! Your goal is definitely attainable!

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Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 453
Location: United States (DC)
Concentration: General Management, Technology
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
GPA: 3.37
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 151 [0], given: 5

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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2011, 06:33
That's awesome blizzard003.

Good luck with apps.
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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2011, 07:15
Congrats. Goodluck with your application :)
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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2011, 20:51
That's a tremendous score. Way to go! Good luck with your applications. Congrats.
_________________

http://gmat.friedwires.com - Fried Wires GMAT Tips blog.

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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2011, 21:27
Congrats on the great score. Whats the split???

Any special strategy for CR and RC? Especially time saving strategies, as I can see from your blog that you had to slow down in Verbal.

Regards
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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2011, 22:10
I too, am interested in your split - if you would be so kind! Are you apping for R3, or 4 for 2011?
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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2011, 03:02
Thank you for you inputs and motivation. I definitely would like to know some more things related to verbal preparations esp. for RCs and CRs. Any guides having challenging practice questions
Intern
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Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 11
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
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Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 3

Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2011, 17:30
My split was q49/v45.

For CR, the biggest thing I had to focus on was reading the question stem, identifying what was being asked, and then focusing on the appropriate answer. Identifying the question scope was commonly a tripping point, so I also focused on this. RC was never really a concern of mine, so I didn't really do much with RC.

In general, Kaplan800 has great higher-level questions, and MGMAT CATs helped the most when it came to the actual test-taking strategies.

Good luck everyone!
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Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 11
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
GPA: 3.9
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Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 3

Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2011, 17:31
Oh also, I'm planning to apply in R1/R2 this upcoming fall!
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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2011, 17:44
impressive story... and very motivating... good luck with apps...
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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2011, 03:35
Sick Score shovitdhar!

I'm following a similar plan, having been unsuccessful the first attempt and studying real hard, taking some time off, then polish up the skills and studying lighter. Hopefully I can mimic what you've done.

I have no idea how you finished verbal so fast BTW, you're a beast!
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Re: 690 > 760 Retake! [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2011, 01:09
Thanks for the post.
How do you recommend to prepare oneself to SC? In two my attempts I was negatively surprised by high difficulty of real SC questions. Guru, please enlighten us! :)
Re: 690 > 760 Retake!   [#permalink] 09 Apr 2011, 01:09
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