Hey guys, just wanted to give a quick debrief. I don't think I have too much to add that others haven't already said.First Gmat:
First time around I got a 700 (Q44 V40 IR6 AWA 5.5). I was not happy with my quant score, although it was around what I had been testing in my mocks. I knew I could do better and I wanted to get that up to the 80th percentile. I studied off and on for 4 months and before my first test I used:Kaplan
BookOfficial Guide 13
After I studied these two I got a Knewton subscription, because I felt I couldn't improve 50 points from where I was and would get the money back. Somehow I got a 740 on their diagnostic even though I ended up with the 700.Regroup:
I really didn't want to burn myself out so I scheduled my retake for a little after a month after the first test. During this time I only used some of the challenge problems from Knewton, but mostly took the GMATClub tests
that I got for free for ordering the Knewton course through the site. I honestly think these are all you need to get your score from a Q44 to Q49. I did about 12 of them, and the last 3 I scored a 49, 49 and 50, after getting about a 35 in the beginning. These are very tough but they really get you to think about special cases and help you improve your speed.Retake:
During the test I felt the AWA went well, I wrote a lot and hopefully I atleast get a 5.5 like last time. The IR I found to be very easy for some reason. I really struggled the first time around when I got a 6. This time it was crazy how easy the questions were, I had very little trouble with this section.
The quant section went pretty smoothly. There were a few where I knew I couldn't see the quick trick to solve the problem, and doing out the long calculations would take too long, so I took educated guesses and moved on. Near the end of the test I didn't feel the level of questions had gone up very much, but I think that is due to taking so many GMATClub tests
and expecting extremely hard questions. I finished with about 15 seconds to spare, somewhat rushing but I still got the last question correct.
The verbal was pretty easy, I never had too much trouble with this section, consistently scoring 90%+ in mocks. I was moving pretty quickly though the test and noticed I was way ahead in time, so I slowed down and made sure I was being careful. I still ended with about 4 minutes to spare.
I clicked through the final screen expecting a 720 but couldn't believe I got a 750. Q49 V42 IR8.
Barely made it in to the 80%+ for quant, but still made it. I honestly believe my jump in score was 80% GMATClub tests
, and 20% lack of nerves since I didn't have too much to lose with the 700 already in my pocket.My strategy:
Pretty generic, but this is what I did:RC:
I never had any trouble with the RC passages. I'm a very fast reader, and I have always been able to absorb the information I read. I would take notes as I read through the passages to keep things clear in my head and retain the information better, but by doing this I didn't really have to go back and look at them after, I had it in my head.CR:
This may be bad advice for some people, but all I would do in this section is find the 1 sentence that was the conclusion of the paragraph and throw the rest of the information away. I found that 1 sentence is really all you need, and then you look through the answer choices to find the one that answers the question for that one sentence. The GMAT tries to trip you up by adding extra info, but you just need to look at the main conclusion of the passage. I would also rarely get these wrong.SC:
This was by far the hardest part of the verbal for me. Just using the Kaplan
and OG books I really never got a good feel for what I was trying to do. The Knewton course helped a lot in this area. I'm still not great at these, probably the questions I got wrong on the test were all SC, but basically SC only tests like 5/6 concepts and you need to know what they are. But the multitude of ways they can test things like subject verb agreement or parallelism makes these very tough.Quant:
I really didn't have a different strategy for these sections, I was actually doing better on the DS problems on average. The GMATClub tests
helped me see the little tricks and solidified my math skills so I could solve the PS questions better. Making sure you read the question, and not forgetting to test 0 are just the little things you need to remember to do well in this section. Then just putting in the work to memorize formulas and special triangles and such to solve everything that much faster.Conclusion:
If anyone has any specific questions I'd be glad to answer them, but mainly I wanted to write this up to let the GMATClub guys know how much they helped me out, and to give the advice that if you are looking to get up in the Q49 area, those tests are extremely helpful.