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710 (Q49 V37) Will Retake

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Joined: 24 Sep 2009
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GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V37
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710 (Q49 V37) Will Retake [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2012, 17:18
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  • Books & materials used: Manhattan GMAT 9 Session Study Course, 111 x 700-Level Question Bank in GMAT Club iPhone App
  • Test Scores:
    - MGMAT Diagnostic (1/7): 700 (43Q 41V) Took 85 Min to finish Quant section.
    - MGMAT Cat 2 (1/29): 680 (47Q 35V)
    - MGMAT Cat 3 (2/5): 730 (50Q 40V)
    - MGMAT Cat 4 (2/19): 730 (48Q 42V)
    - MGMAT Cat 5 (2/26): 720 (48Q 40V)
    - Class officially ends (3/3)
    - MGMAT Cat 6 (3/10): 750 (48Q 44V) Verbal score inflated as I exhausted the MGMAT CAT pool of 700+ level questions.
    - GMATPrep 1 (3/13): 710 (47Q 41V)
    - GMATPrep 2 (3/14): 730 (50Q 38V)
    - Test Day (3/16): 710 (49Q 37V)
  • Background: Native English speaker, bachelor degree (3.5) at top-25 school, currently work as a research analyst at a mutual fund
  • Length of Study: From 1/3 to 3/15. Finished all materials from course syllabus on 3/9, 2 days were reserved for the GMATPrep exams, so I had 4 days of independent study.
  • General Strategy: Do not fall behind (timewise) in quant! In my practice exams I would spend 4-5 mins on a hard question and rush through Questions 30-37.
  • Additional notes created: None
  • Any interesting blogs or materials that I found online: GMAT Formula sheet: http://www.gmatmathformulas.com/
  • Words of Advice:

    • Things I wish I knew: 8 minute break starts immediately after the last question is finished! I had my hand raised for the proctor for a while, which took up most of my break. When I sat back down in my chair, I lost 1 minute in my verbal section
    • Things I have learned: Cell phones / ipods are allowed in the testing center but they must be turned off.
    • Things I wasted my time on: Nothing
    • Finally, my test experience: Below

I basically used the MGMAT materials for the entire length of my study, with the exception of the day before test day (3/15). On 3/15, I powered through the 111 x 700-Level Question Bank in the GMAT Club iPhone app. In reality, I was alternating between doing some questions, and watching NCAA basketball. The MGMAT class itself was great, although I'll save these details for a course review.

My test experience was ok. Usually I would listen to music on the way there, but I was told that if I had a cell phone or ipod with me, the testing center may not let me in. That turned out to be an incorrect assumption. I got to the test center about 45 mins before my scheduled time, and the proctors let me start early. As I stated above, my main problem was the timing on the Quant section. I have heard that many of the 700+ level MGMAT questions are notoriously difficult, which is why I took so long on some of them in my CAT exams. However, on test day, I was finished with Question 35 with about 8 minutes left to go. I spent about 5 minutes on Question 36, and about 3 on Question 37. Later I found out that how to answer Question 36 wasn't even covered in the MGMAT materials...but I'll know it when I take the exam again!

Verbal: Again, as stated above, I started out 1 minute late in this section, but I actually finished 5 minutes early.
I thought that this section was somewhat easy, but I was shocked (and not in a good way) to see that my raw score on this section was only a 37. One of the short RC passages only had 2 questions.

Also to note: As I walked into the testing center, there was someone there who had just finished his exam and was holding his score report. His score was a 370! (46Q 6V)....yes that is a 6, so yeah, draw your own conclusion.

Note #2: The MGMAT course is A LOT of work. I found myself routinely doing HW until 2-3 AM in order to keep up with the study organizer that they have. (My work hours are 8a-6p).

Most of the study materials were great. However, the Manhattan GMAT CAT exams really need to be improved.

1. At the higher levels (700+), the quant portion of these exams will give you 3-4 probability / combinatorics questions. In reality you may see 1-2 of these problems on exam day.

2. The verbal portion of the MGMAT CAT exams will front-load the RC and CR questions, and you will usually finish all of the RC questions at around question 25-30. In reality it is more spread out. I learned this when I took my GMATPrep practice exams. This is important for timing. You may find yourself finishing early on the MGMAT CAT exams because the last 5-6 questions are SC questions, but on test day you may not have enough time if your verbal section ends with 4-5 RC or CR questions.

3. If you are a high scorer (700+), the later CAT exams will give you more 600-700 level questions, since you would have exhausted all of the 700 level questions in MGMAT's question bank. For example, I scored 700+ in my 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th CAT exams. In my 6th CAT exam, the last 13 questions in my verbal section were of 600-700 level. As you can see, this artificially raised my score. In reality, the questions will be about 700+ level difficulty if you are scoring this high.

Onward!

Due to my extremely low verbal score (as compared with my CAT exams), I will definitely retake this exam. However, I'm debating between Knewton and Magoosh due to their score guarantees. I'm not sure which one has a stronger curriculum for verbal. (I'm aiming for 42+). If anyone has any suggestions, please share.
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Re: 710 (Q49 V37) Will Retake [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2012, 23:07
Congrats and Thanks for sharing your experience.
All the best 8-)
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Re: 710 (Q49 V37) Will Retake [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2012, 02:49
I would honestly suggest you don't retake. 710 is good enough for any bschool after a certain score it doesn't really help you much or at all. I have spoken to former (Wharton/booth) who say they mainly looked for 80th percentile in quant. So that would be the only reason to retake with a 700+ score.

But if your he'll bent on improving verbal I would suggest against knewton. I did the course and it was more a 650 level. You have taken MGMAT already, I think it will be better than knewton. Depending on what your weaknesses are I suggest you get the powerscore cr guide to master cr and go back over MGMAT SC. But overall you need to pay attention to detail in verbal. You need to read CR and RC passages very carefully to avoid silly errors. This helped me the most

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Re: 710 (Q49 V37) Will Retake [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2012, 22:35
Congratulations on that score. Well done
Re: 710 (Q49 V37) Will Retake   [#permalink] 07 Apr 2012, 22:35
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