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710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days

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710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2013, 08:30
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First of all: i know this sound's trolly, but believe it or not, I just didn't have enough time and/or motivation to do more. I don't know if it is helpful for others, but i think the density of my programme might give some conclusions about how to really quickly adapt to the GMAT. I will explain that in three steps:

1. What I did:
I took the first day getting an overview over the material. Knowing that I won't be abled to go through a lot of stuff, I decided to take the OG and buy the Manhattan books that would make sense for me as ebooks on amazon. I later also bought the GMAT writing pad from Manhatten, which I would buy earlier now, because it really makes you familiar with a slightly different writing feeling. I then first read almost the whole Manhattan GMAT Roadmap. Quite good for some first impressions. I then took the OG introduction test to get to know my problematic zones. Afterwards I took the first test and scored a 640. I read through half the mathematical basics Manhattan book or whatever it is called and realised i was mathematically prepared well enough (my study programme includes some advanced mathematics). A further problem was my sentence correction, so i bought the Manhattan SC book and read everything except the advanced sections at the end. I also had data sufficiency problems at first and hence decided to do a bit DS questions in the OG. At a specific time, in the middle of the DS questions, i started to use the OG Archer of Manhattan - that was really the best decision in my whole preparation. After taking some practice, i started doing some CAT's - that was probably the worst decision in my preparation. I think I took 3 CAT's and one only Quant test within 36 hours or so. That simply was useless. I really didn't actually check my wrong questions, but did tests over and over. Probably that even made me lose half a day. My results varied between 630 and 680 until I realised it was useless. I called back the success of using the Archer and started over again with that, sadly this was the day before the exam. So I did about 130 questions from the OG that day (PS and SC). First some questions, then the second GMAT Prep exam (690) and then some questions again.

2. What I would change
If i were to take it again (and I am not sure yet wether I should actually do that, because in total I did 1/3 of the OG questions and my quant differed due to concentration issues because of the programme's density between 38 and 50, so i think i could really step up to 730/740), I would even narrow the range of the materials down. First of all, i would try to take 3 weeks. I think it simply makes more sense, though imo 3 weeks are enough. I would start reading the Roadmap again, and then FOR SURE read all the Math books of Manhattan, SC and RC. I don't know the book but for CR i think it is hard to improve - either you can do it or you can't do it. I am a non-native speaker and scored for me quite well in the verbal, so I would put mor effort in the math, basically in practicing. Hence i would try to do ALL the OG questions using on EACH ONE the Manhattan OG Archer. I think it really has a good learning effect, as you can directly see what you got wrong and have the time and motivations to improve. When I did questions without it, i simply quickly overlooked the corrections of a question block. And I would probably also have a look at those official quant and verbal books. The GmatPrep was imo not so helpful, but the two CATs are great of course. I would probably do a CAT every 3 days, just to have a look where you are and what you have to improve. I think this is it. And i would not spend the last day with relaxing, but practicing some math again, so that you are really into it. I even did some questions (luckily I still had plenty left :D) on the test day, before the exam, just to be warmed up for the calculation stuff.

3. Concluding recommandations
You only have little time for the GMAT, but are free to work all day? Don't worry, you'll be fine! Take some days, reading the Roadmap, do the introduction test of the OG and pick the Manhattan books for fields you have to improve. Then simply practice. Use the OG Archer or anything that makes your learning process like this: question - answering - correction - learning - saving the data - next question. I think this is actually THE best thing to do.

So thanks for what I've learned here and I hope this is helpful to someone.
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2013, 09:04
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Hi ethnix,
Thanks for sharing your experience in studying for the GMAT with the community here. I think there are some good nuggets of information that can help other students, and a good tale of how you can be successful on this exam without spending 6 months preparing for it.

The only thing I'd highlight is that doing the CATs is an integral part of the preparation in order to simulate the actual environment. You need to be aware of possible time crunches and mental fatigue. Obviously, doing CATs without checking your mistakes after isn't optimal, but simulating the environment at least once is highly recommended. Personally I'd recommend taking multiple CATs, as you did, but it's like practicing football once or twice before going to the Superbowl. You want to at least have an idea of what it's going to be like.

Again, thanks for sharing your experience with the community. Hope it helps!
-Ron
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2013, 23:20
VeritasPrepRon wrote:
Hi ethnix,
Thanks for sharing your experience in studying for the GMAT with the community here. I think there are some good nuggets of information that can help other students, and a good tale of how you can be successful on this exam without spending 6 months preparing for it.

The only thing I'd highlight is that doing the CATs is an integral part of the preparation in order to simulate the actual environment. You need to be aware of possible time crunches and mental fatigue. Obviously, doing CATs without checking your mistakes after isn't optimal, but simulating the environment at least once is highly recommended. Personally I'd recommend taking multiple CATs, as you did, but it's like practicing football once or twice before going to the Superbowl. You want to at least have an idea of what it's going to be like.

Again, thanks for sharing your experience with the community. Hope it helps!
-Ron


Hi Ron,
as u said practicing many CATS is helpful, can you please guide as to which are the most relevant CATs? and also, are Kaplan CATs relevant?
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 10:20
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Hi Ethnix, as you can probably infer from my name, I have more experience with the Veritas CATs, which I find to be pretty good. I haven't checked out Kaplan's practice tests/question banks so I am unable to comment on that specifically. I can only talk about our own material which I have gone through personally and my opinion is that it does a good job in preparing you for actual GMAT questions.

Of course, any CATs you take can only help in your prep, and there is definite value in doing different CATs to see a wide spectrum of question types. A good choice for practicing CATs is the official GMAT prep tests, as well as the official guide for some practice questions. These are always good resources as they are designed to mimic the actual exam as much as possible.

If you're looking for a couple of new strategies or tips to try and boost your score, you might want to check out some of the GMAT books available. If you're mostly looking to do some practice questions and work on pacing, then any CAT should be a pretty good approximation, and whatever CATs you've been working with so far seem to be working for you.

Hope this helps!
-Ron
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 08 Feb 2013, 17:18
Excellent ! 710 in 8 days, you are a Genius. :idea:
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2013, 04:21
Got my official score now: 710, Q48, V40, AWA 6.0, IR 7
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 12:36
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Congratulations, ethnix!
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 12:43
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ethnix wrote:
Got my official score now: 710, Q48, V40, AWA 6.0, IR 7


Really strong AWA and IR scores as well! I'd say everything worked out quite nicely for you. :-D
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2013, 13:09
Thanks. After all I really think about a retake later, for the following reasons:

1) I didn't even train once for AWA. I think i could do that again. For IR I only noticed at the test that you have a calculator, which made it easier for me, but it was quite a new situation. I think I could make a 8 in IR.
2) I clearly noticed that I didn't have enough training for sometimes quite easy things.
3) I am a non-native speaker studying successfully in a MINT major. I think it is clear I should be better in Q than in V. Though I was much better in V, though only having trained SC. Hence it should be possible to get a Q50 at least and probably even improve in V.

Though for my near future I don't have any career ambitions to retake it - I will probably need to use such high scores in three or four years, definitely not earlier.

Do you think I should retake it with some better training, when I have time to prepare at least two weeks next time?
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2013, 08:00
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ethnix wrote:
Thanks. After all I really think about a retake later, for the following reasons:

Do you think I should retake it with some better training, when I have time to prepare at least two weeks next time?


Hi ethnix, most people don't retake the exam if they get a score like that (92nd percentile), but if you need a 95th or 99th percentile for whatever reason, then you can obviously redo it. Doing the exam once allows you to be better prepared for it the next time, so your score will probably go up if you maintain the same focus and study a little more. However, 710 will likely get you where you want to go, no need to repeat the exam unless it will lead to greater opportunities!

-Ron
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2013, 09:57
Well I'm normally quite a - let's just call it - efficiency orientated person. But i'm not sure wether sth. like Stanford is a realistic goal with a 710 as my gpa is not so good, du to being 'efficiency orientated". I think i could realistically aim at a 740-750, with much higher chances for university of that range.
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 08:02
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ethnix wrote:
Well I'm normally quite a - let's just call it - efficiency orientated person. But i'm not sure wether sth. like Stanford is a realistic goal with a 710 as my gpa is not so good, du to being 'efficiency orientated". I think i could realistically aim at a 740-750, with much higher chances for university of that range.


Yeah if you're aiming to get into a specific school then it's easier to look at what they want and aim for that. Something tells me you won't have too much trouble boosting that score if you apply yourself to your studies for a few solid weeks. Good luck and please keep the community posted!

-Ron
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Re: 710 (Q48, V40) in 8 days   [#permalink] 22 Feb 2013, 08:02
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