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700 (Q50, V34) - special thanks to Stolyar

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700 (Q50, V34) - special thanks to Stolyar [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2005, 16:44
Hi guys, today, 25 June 2005, I passed GMAT third and the last time. It was a really long way to join 700-club. This way was difficult and not straightforward. However, I learned a lot, and I am eager to share this knowledge with you. It gonna be long post.

To all readers of this post:
Please do not criticize my style, structure, and language. It is 22nd hour since I woke up this morning, therefore I'm a bit exhausted and relaxed. I just don't feel any energy to reread what I just wrote. But I feel I should write this message today while my feelings and observations are still fresh. OK, I'm going ahead.

Thanks
Stolyar invited me to this exciting community a couple of years ago. He is the only man I owe my success. Also I ought to express my thanks to bb (for this site), Praetorian, AkamaiBrah, Paul, HongHu, and many other people who wrote their insightful GMAT experience and discussed difficult questions. In addition, I must say THANK YOU VERY MUCH to guys who push Challenge initiative which I consider the best practice for actual test.

Background
Project manager in investment company. Hold BA in Science and MA in economics. International. 28y.o. Married.

Result
700 (93%) - Q50 (95%) / V34 (72%)

GMAT history
1st attempt: July 2003 - 610 (Q49, ~V24) {so-so practice, low focus, low stamina, bad strategy}
2nd attempt: May 2004 - 690 (Q47, V37) {good practice, good focus, high stamina, bad strategy}
3rd attempt: June 2005 - 700 (Q50, V34) {so-so practice, good focus, so-so stamina, good strategy}
Ha-ha-ha, it was a long and, in some aspects, funny way...

Scheduling the test
Being waitlisted in top3 b-schools this year, I decided to reapply for the next year. To enhance my GMAT score was a part of my reapplication strategy. In May 2005 I passed a Powerprep 1 (last time I saw OG 1 year ago) and scored 770 (Q51, V44). I thought that one month is more than enough to revive my GMAT skills. Therefore, I scheduled the test for 25 June 2005.

Preparation
I redid Powerprep exercises, Challenges #22, #23, and #24, "The Best Verbal discussions" and "Share your GMAT experience" branches of this forum, and "Just finished my GMAT test" branch of GMAT-forum at http://www.testmagic.com. Also I redid math lessons on this site.

TEST EXPERIENCE
AWA-section.
It was good. Easy topics.
2 min remained in each essay.

Quantitative section.
Started with two easy questions, then #3 - simple combinations. And the difficulty level increased and remained stable from #3 to #33. I stuck in #6 because I solved PS and found out TWO RIGHT ANSWERS. In the first moment I thought that it was an experimental questions, but God defended me this time. After 5 min of different recalculations I saw a typo in my initial calculations, laughed over myself, and went to the next question (my thoughts ran back to this question again a couple of times while I was in Q-section but I tried to kill them). I met two-three questions on each type - probability/combinations/mean/median, although there was no standard deviation. Surprisingly, there were many geometry questions.
1.5 min remained.

Verbal-section.
After Q-section I felt that I was in 49+ range, therefore I understood that the crucial part of exam is in Verbal-section. #1 question was easy SC. Then #2 medium SC. Then #3 - medium CR. Then #4 medium SC again. Then medium 45-line RC1 (science) and difficult 55-line RC2 (science) back-to-back. Then #10 BF CR. Then number of SC and CR of medium and difficult level. In #21-#24 there was 65-line RC3 (women rights). Then medium to difficult SC and CR again. #28 - BF CR again. Then in #33-#36 medium 70-line RC4 (business). Then I felt that the level of questions comes down (I think I missed a few questions consequently). There were easy SC and CR from #37 to #41.
50 sec remained.

Overall
Q-section was in line with Kaplan Math 800 and a bit easier than Challenges. V-section was in line with OG.

GMAT experience snapshot (for future test-takers)
Guys, there are five success factors you should be aware of before going to exam.
1) practice with RIGHT SOURCES (OG 10th edition, Powerprep, LSAT, VStudy, GMAT+, Kaplan Math 800) and try to develop good speed with no errors;
2) train your "FOCUS"-muscle (by doing 37- and 41-sets of OG questions and by doing full-time CAT tests, BTW don't forget about essays). Do not think about previous question, do not think what you say to friends/family after the test, think only about this particular question.

3) gain your STAMINA during two days before test (for full-time workers: try to sleep 9 hours every day during last week before exam).

4) develop RIGHT STRATEGY. I mean in Verbal section you should be extremely careful with your first 20 questions (first and second RC passages), then I must enforce yourself to run through 21-31 questions (third passage), and then again try to be extremely careful with 32-41 questions (fourth passage). And in Math section you must be careful (with double-checking) of answers for 1-25 questions, then running through 26-37 questions.

5) When you do the test, you must CONTROL yourself to be in line with right strategy. It is so difficult to force yourself to be quick-solver in verbal 21-31 questions.

And remember: NEVER GIVE UP! Everyone can reach 700 and more.

BTW, do NOT pay much attention to AWA-section. The best way to crack the AWA essays is to developed cliches. I believe that a test-taker should synthesize his own cliches from the number of offered by different sources (e.g. Kaplan, Princeton) and he/she should practice not more than five essays on both types. After that, he/she do not even need to read the full set of 250 topics. After good practice, cliches can crack any topic.


Guys, I am going to sleep and then celebrate again. I'll be back to this site a couple of days later to kindly answer your questions.


P.S. FUTURE TEST-TAKERS, you are especially welcome to ask any questions (as I was in your skin just a day ago), including ones about strategies to approach each type of PS/DS/SC/CR/RC questions, which I consider the most value-added.
_________________

Never give up

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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2005, 16:57
SoloT,

Good show and thanks for sharing your experience
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2005, 18:34
Congratulations Solo. thanks for the kind words.

This community works by give and take. Every member of a community has a great deal to contribute and comes here looking for help. The absolute best way for a member to thank GMAT Club would be to continue to visit the website and support the new guys, offer them advice and help them as much as you can.

Dont hesitate to write more details. this is your thread and your show. All of us respect that. If a smart alec does decide to show up , let me know.

By the way, If there is anyone out there who can write killer SC questions, contact us.

thanks
Praetorian
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2005, 19:10
SoloT: Congratulations on a wonderful score and for an inspiring mail.
  [#permalink] 25 Jun 2005, 19:10
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700 (Q50, V34) - special thanks to Stolyar

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