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710 Q49 V39 AWA5.5 [#permalink]
15 Jun 2011, 21:41
Took the GMAT a week ago. Scored a 710 (92nd %ile) Q49 (86th %ile), V39 (87th %ile), AWA 5.5. Started studying for it 2nd week of March and registered for the exam mid-April.
Okay so I just finished my undergrad and graduated in May. But a lower credit load during my final, spring semester allowed me to begin studying for the GMAT in March. I originally had no idea as to how/where to start, so I started browsing forums looking for answers.
Quickly, I figured out I needed to revamp my knowledge of math basics. Not coming from a quant intensive major, I had to work much more on quant than verbal. I was able to push the 80th%ile in verbal much earlier than in quant.
Some takeaways I feel helped me throughout the process:
- Do not approach the GMAT with the following attitude - "if I put in X hours of studying, I will get X score". I noticed that the amount of time I spent studying had much less to do with my score than the quality/intensity of it. Also, don't worry if you miss a day or two of studying. Go out, relax, take a day off. I noticed many people write that they had no social life while they studied. This approach was not for me. Hanging out with family and friends is a stress reliever for me. Do what works for you.
- Here is one of the biggest things which helped me boost my score. Timed sets. I always saw people stress the importance of this in their debriefs, but never took it seriously until the final month of studying. I had plateaued at 43-44 in Quant during practice tests. I could not figure out why. So I decided to give the whole timed problems a try. It paid off. You might be perfectly fine and comfortable with the content (you might even be a math whiz), but until you have practiced applying your knowledge in 2-3 minutes, it's virtually useless. This literally boosted my score close to 40 points.
- I also followed the notecard strategy. One specific thing regarding SC - memorize the hell out of idioms. It might seem like a lot at first, but I had 2 notecards with only idioms (~20 idioms altogether) on them. For any SC I got incorrect on practice tests because of an idiomatic error, I would jot that idiom down right away. This helps both native and non-native speakers as it's one of the easier things you can fix.
- For quant, I came across "Thursdays with Ron" the final week of my studying. Simply amazing as it equipped me with a huge amount of takeaways. I wish I had found them earlier as I would have practiced much more with strategies he provides.
- I see many users abuse practice tests. Let me put it in the simplest terms - if you are taking more than one practice test/week, you are wasting your time.