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700 (Q46 V40) - Two weeks of studying!

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700 (Q46 V40) - Two weeks of studying! [#permalink] New post 18 May 2013, 19:00
Hey guys,

My dream school is University of Chicago and I am hoping to apply in maybe 3 or 4 years. My future job might keep me from going off to grad school in-residence so my only option may be getting an online MBA from an accredited program. Hopefully things will work out and I will be able to go in-residence either at Booth or somewhere else.

Just took the GMAT today and scored a 700. Wasn't expecting to break 650 after studying for only two weeks so I am thrilled!

I didn't finish either section which was surprising because on practice tests, the quant. section is always a time crunch for me but I've always finished the verbal section with plenty of time to spare. On the actual test I had maybe a minute remaining for the last three or four questions in each section. So I feel like I could have scored higher if I'd worked faster, but I am very happy with my score and not complaining.

Some background info. I really wanted to take the GMAT before I graduated from college while I was still in school mode (somewhat) and because my school would reimburse me for the test fee. I made the decision in March/April to take the test and made my appointment on 2 May. Because school was really busy during March and April, I never really looked at any GMAT material prior to May (besides Kaplan's "Question of the Day"). Things started to slow down late April and I knew I only had one final so that's when I decided to hit the books.

On 5 May, I took my first practice exam in GMATPrep and scored a 620 which I thought was decent for my first attempt. I had the GMAT Review so I looked through that and did a lot of practice problems. I knew my quant. skills were rusty so I tried to focus on that. To be honest, the book wasn't really helpful with explaining concepts but had a lot of practice problems. I started doing practice problems on VeritasPrep which was helpful because it explained how to solve each problem. However, I realized I didn't have much time to review all of the different math concepts so I changed up my strategy. I decided to take a bunch of practice tests. That way I would be exposed to a lot of the types of questions on the actual GMAT and get used to the timing.

After taking several free online practice tests, I realized not all practice tests are created equal. The ones from GMATPrep are probably the most legit. I did one from the Princeton Review and scored a 580. I took one from GMATPill and scored a 500 (wtf?) which was really discouraging. Redid the one from Princeton Review and scored a 590. This was probably a week and a half into studying so I was getting discouraged. I scored a 620 on my first GMATPrep practice test so I wondered why I was doing worse. I stopped worrying about it and kept doing more problems and looked up sample essays to get a feel for the structure. The night before my GMAT I did the second practice test in GMATPrep and scored a 680! Still not great but after scoring so low on the other practice tests it gave me some relief that I wasn't actually becoming stupider.

Had a 2PM go time so grabbed lunch with a friend and drove to the test center. I was really nervous at first but calmed down once the test started. The rest is history!

I'm not saying you should only study for two weeks or don't put in the best effort you can. I gave it my all in the limited time I had. Every day for the past week and a half I would wake up, eat and work out, then study for 6-8 hours and maybe go out with friends at night if I needed a break. I wish I had started studying a lot earlier so I could go at a much more relaxed pace. Also, I did well on the SAT (2200) so some of that standardized test magic may have transferred over to the GMAT.

Finished my last final for my undergraduate career on 8 May. The GMAT was the only thing keeping me from really enjoying being done with school so now I get to enjoy it. Graduation in 10 days and a wake up!

Thanks guys and I can go into more detail or answer any questions later. Right now I am going out to celebrate!

-Paul
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GMAT 1: 690 Q42 V42
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Re: 700 (Q46 V40) - Two weeks of studying! [#permalink] New post 21 May 2013, 07:28
The Princeton Review prep tests are absolutely horrible. I averaged like a 570 on them on ended up with a much a higher score. It seems like Princeton Review isn't even trying any more.

Either way, good work on your GMAT. A 700 is good enough for any program; now you just need to work on the rest of your profile.
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Re: 700 (Q46 V40) - Two weeks of studying! [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2013, 02:21
Congratulations on your great score and all the best for applications! God Bless!
Re: 700 (Q46 V40) - Two weeks of studying!   [#permalink] 10 Jun 2013, 02:21
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