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710 (Q - 48, V - 40)

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710 (Q - 48, V - 40) [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2006, 14:03
I took my test today and got a 710. I'm not thrilled but content I guess. I had some hope of hitting 720+, but the 710 puts me in the ballpark for the top schools which is cool. Here were my thoughts and prep experience....

I studied for about 3 months, very intensely. I have had my own business for a couple of years, but it's been slow lately so I've had time to really study alot. I went through PR, Kaplan 2006, Kaplan 800, MGMAT, Veritas (only the probability book), 4GMAT, OG (#11, as well as math and verbal reviews) and a couple other books I think. And, of course, I used the challenges available on this site. Here were my scores on practice tests (note, I studied for about 1-1.5 months before taking any practice tests.... then took all of them in the remaining 1.5-2 months):

PR - 690
PR - 700
Kaplan - 570
PR - 730
Kaplan - 610
GMATPrep - 730
MGMAT - 690
MGMAT - 720 (3 days before exam)
GMATPrep - 760 (note - although I didn't do a reboot, I got a couple of the same questions in this as the other test.... so I thought this was probably equivalent to a 730-740) -- 2 days before exam
MGMAT - 730 (day before exam)

My advice:

1 - Study for 2-3 months intensely --- don't stretch it out for longer than that.

2 - Use the PR and MGMAT CATs, but not Kaplan. Very demoralizing to see a 570 if you are really capable of a 710.

3 - Save several practice tests for the few days right before the exam. I did one each day just before the exam to refine my timing.

4 - Visit the test center before test day. I went to the center about 3 weeks ago, and it helped me visualize what the experience would be like.

5 - Use flashcards to write down math problems you get wrong. Doesn't work as well for verbal questions.

6 - Try to proceed with your studying in a balanced way. Don't ignore one subject for many days in a row, because you'll get rusty on it and lose the momentum of the study process. Many of the top schools want to see above an 80th percentile on both sides, so getting a 99th percentile on one doesn't look good if you get a 65th on the other. Try to keep a balance on the studying so that you're adequately prepared for both. Although I was hoping for a 720 or 730, I am glad that my percentiles are relatively balanced.

7 - Do the challenges and stick with them. They will make your head hurt at times, but there is value in the pain. There is redemption in the suffering:)

8 - The OG materials were great -- make sure you ration the use of them though. I would say really concentrate on getting the concepts from the PR and MGMAT materials before you start using the OG stuff. It's very valuable to have those fresh practice questions to use, so don't just blow through them all right at the beginning of your study.

All the best,
Marcus
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2006, 14:14
Congrats! Thats a good score.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2006, 15:42
Good job! Congrats buddy!
Thanks for the nice tips. And good luck for your apps.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2006, 03:47
Congrats on your score ..

All the best :king
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2006, 05:16
congrats, keep us posted on your application process. Which schools do you have in mind?
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Schools [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2006, 05:46
I'll probably put in apps at Wharton and HBS, just on the off chance that I could get in. Was a military officer for 4 years and then ran my own business for a couple years, so all that could help. Who knows. After those schools, will probably apply to NYU, Columbia, MIT, UVA, and a few others. I want to attend a school that has a strong real estate program/dept, and many of the above schools do. We'll see...

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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2006, 07:55
Just an update to my experience.... I got my official report today and got a 6.0 on the AWA. Although I was an English major in college (graduated 6 years ago), I haven't been writing that much and was way out of practice. My grammar and even spelling can suffer sometimes (when I'm writing under timed conditions). So I say all this to point out that you shouldn't stress too badly over the AWA. I took about 9-10 practice GMATs and did the essays on the last 3-4 of the them, just to ensure that I was prepared for endurance aspect of the test and the need to write structured essays. I spent about 5-6 minutes outlining my responses to each question and then started writing. I was down to about 1.5 minutes at the end of each when I was still writing.... so I threw in a 1-sentence conclusion just to have some sort of conclusion. I would strongly recommend that you use the very cheap (like $5 I think) service that Princeton Review offers through it's website... if you take its free online GMAT CAT (free), then you can pay like $5 and have someone grade your essays for you. I did this for one time (I think you can only do once unless you take a class with them) and I got 5s on each of my essays. I thought the essays were sort of sucky but the grader said to put a conclusion for full marks. So I was sure to do that on the real deal.

Anyway, I don't think this score matters much if you're a native speaker, but it can't hurt to get a solid AWA score and it's relatively easy to do with a bit of limited practice (but don't take this to mean that the AWA is anywhere near as important as your Q and V scores because it's not!).
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2006, 08:26
Congrats...looks like you're all set. =) Now on to applications.. :rotate
  [#permalink] 20 Jun 2006, 08:26
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