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710 (Q50, V36) Update: AWA 5.5

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Manager
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Joined: 06 Jul 2007
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Schools: CBS, MIT, Kellogg, Wharton
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710 (Q50, V36) Update: AWA 5.5 [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2007, 13:33
Just got back from the center.

I would not have minded a slightly higher score but in light of the recent events in my life and considering today's situation as a whole I think that 710 is a fair score. No disrespect to anyone who did not get 700+ from his/her first attempt, but I am considering giving it another try. As a whole I could not have imagined that my last day before the exam could be more stressful and unsettling. I don;t want to be more specific than that. Also, I had no idea that once you lock your belongings you cannot access them anymore :) I could not get any food or drinks out of the locker and needless to say I had only water from the beginning of the test until the end, which I think, more or less affected my verbal score.

As for the exam....

I took the test on 45 Main St in Brooklyn, NY. I liked the test center, the staff. I visited the center on the day before the exam, and found out how big the lockers are and what the laminated sheets and marker look like. This contributed to my composure on the day of the exam.

The AWA topics were alright. I wrote 400+ words on both topics. Too bad they let me take the test early so my AWA section coincided with other people's quant section. No matter how quiet I tried to be, I am sure that my typing really annoyed many of the other test takers. Sorry :}

Math was... rather more difficult than I though. I guessed on 2 questions. I had seen one of the questions before. Finished 7min from time with a rather easy DS question which made me think that I did not do well.

Verbal started nicely but I ran out of gas. Not having a snack or redbul two hours into the exam, I think, affected my focus and sharpness a lot. I think I made a strong start but then started losing focus. 3 out of the 4 RC passages were short and not fun:) Again I had seen one of the questions before. My last two questions were obviously easy which got me extremely paranoid.

Actually I got so paranoid that I had completely forgotten about my 720+ goal and was literally praying to see a score of at least 680.

This pretty much summarizes my first GMAT experience. I will see how things go at work (I am starting full-time employment on Monday) and, if possible, might give it another shot.

I have a soccer game tonight so I gotta run now:) When I come back I will share some more thoughts with you.

Last edited by raptr on 23 Sep 2007, 16:16, edited 4 times in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2007, 13:54
nice. do they have LCD monitors or CRT at that center? I also live in Brooklyn
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2007, 21:19
bmw: They have CRTs. I am used to looking at my laptop but I did not have any issues with the monitor. Btw, I don't live in Brooklyn, that was just the only center in NYC that had available the date that I wanted. However, I really liked the place and if I end up retaking the test I will most likely do it at the same center.



Let me just add something to my first post.

I have seen in previous posts by other users that it is something like a tradition that people who debrief post recommendations and study tips. I don't think that I am in a position to make any recommendations on Verbal so I will focus on Quant only.

- First, all OG out there and redo GMATPrep as many times as possible.
- Second, equally important - Challenges! All of them.
- The 1000s
- I would also recommend the Sets

Here are my scores from the more relevant practice tests:
GMATPrep #1 690 (Q49,V35) - May
GMATPrep #2 760 (Q49,V44) - August
Powerprep #1 750 (Q50, V41) - August
Challenges: took 20, avg 85%

During my preparation I went over most of the GMAT books out there. I kinda feel that I wasted my time. These are the two elements that I believe mostly contributed to my Quant score.

I also want to add something else. I was born and raised in Eastern Europe. Before I came to USA I attended a high school that put a somewhat greater emphasis on math. I was above-average but never among the best math students in my class. For four years of college I have taken exactly [u]three[/u] math courses - calculus I & II and statistics and probability. In other words, YOU DON'T NEED A SOLID MATH BACKGROUND to do well in Quant. It is all a matter of learning the tricks and recognizing where they are trying to take you. This probably sounds ridiculous but whenever I encountered a question that at first seemed complex I kept saying to myself "This is easier than it seems. You just need to find the shortcut". THERE IS A SHORTCUT 99% of the times.

Also, for AWAs, use templates. Despite being a non-native speaker, I am quite happy with my writing skills. However, it's a completely different story when you are under time pressure. The templates helped me enormously to keep my composure and not panic when things didn't flow.


That's about it. I want to thank the people on this forum who helped me and answered my obsessive questions along the way. This forum's has played a major role in my preparation and improvement. Thanks again and God bless!
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Must be test center thing [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2007, 07:59
I m surprised you cant get to your locker. In my test center (not in NY)you have the key to the locker and can get to it whenever you want - I mean obviously in the break time only.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2007, 09:14
Well, they told me that I can't go into my locker because "GMAT doesn't want me to access my study notes". It's either test center policy, or some really mean joke :) What's even funnier, they told me that I can actually leave my protein bar and redbul on top of the lockers :) Anyway, I can't go back in time.

Btw, congrats on your 710.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2007, 23:22
Where did you download the sets?
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2007, 02:39
A member of this forum was nice enough to create a group on yahoo.com called "gmatnetwork". Once you join the group you can access the sets. They are under the Files section.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2007, 10:19
Congrats 710 is a great score.
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2007, 14:02
I am kinda confused as to where should I ask this question but…

I am targeting: Oxford (M.S. Financial Economics), Cambridge (M.Phil Finance), LSE (M.S. Economics and Finance), Princeton (M.Fin), Carnegie Mellon (M.S. Computational Finance), NYU (M.A. Economics), Rochester (M.S. Finance), Boston College (M.S. Finance), Vanderbilt (M.S. Finance), Florida – Warrington (M.S. Finance), Illinois - Urbana Campaign (M.S. Finance), Washington University (M.S. Finance). I may drop some schools.

Do you, knowledgeable, helpful people, think I stand a chance for the above-listed programs considering my GMAT score and the following facts:

*** I am a white, Eastern European male in his early 20s.
*** I have a dual B.S in Economics and Accounting with a minor in Business Law. Summa cum laude.
*** I went to a small Jesuit private school in the Northeast. The business school is known in the region for its relatively strong Accounting program.
*** My GPA (3.95) is the highest GPA in the business school. I received an award for best academic performance in Economics (from graduating class). I received GPA-based distinctions after each my freshman, sophomore and junior years.
*** I have approx. 28 months of internship experience with two different employers. First, I spent 12 months at Morgan Stanley (middle-office function, not front office). Second, 16 months with a consulting practice at a Big Four accounting company where I received performance-based awards on three occasions. My internship later on led to a full-time offer. I recently started full-time employment with the same practice.
*** As far as extracurricular involvement is concerned, aside from the usual stuff (university clubs and organizations, sports etc) I am a member of MENSA and of the oldest society at my school to which only 9 students from each graduating class (supposedly the best) get invited.

I would really appreciate your comments, suggestions and ideas. I apologize if it is annoying to post "Rate my profile" type of questions in this forum but the MS Finance forum seems to be in hibernation and apart from the people on gmatclub I can’t really think of anybody else with whom I could discuss this.
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2007, 15:29
you seem to have a very competitive profile..if you are a girl, you will have a very good shot at some of the top schools such as HBS, Columbia etc...

raptr wrote:
I am kinda confused as to where should I ask this question but…

I am targeting: Oxford (M.S. Financial Economics), Cambridge (M.Phil Finance), LSE (M.S. Economics and Finance), Princeton (M.Fin), Carnegie Mellon (M.S. Computational Finance), NYU (M.A. Economics), Rochester (M.S. Finance), Boston College (M.S. Finance), Vanderbilt (M.S. Finance), Florida – Warrington (M.S. Finance), Illinois - Urbana Campaign (M.S. Finance), Washington University (M.S. Finance). I may drop some schools.

Do you, knowledgeable, helpful people, think I stand a chance for the above-listed programs considering my GMAT score and the following facts:

*** I am a white, Eastern European male in his early 20s.
*** I have a dual B.S in Economics and Accounting with a minor in Business Law. Summa cum laude.
*** I went to a small Jesuit private school in the Northeast. The business school is known in the region for its relatively strong Accounting program.
*** My GPA (3.95) is the highest GPA in the business school. I received an award for best academic performance in Economics (from graduating class). I received GPA-based distinctions after each my freshman, sophomore and junior years.
*** I have approx. 28 months of internship experience with two different employers. First, I spent 12 months at Morgan Stanley (middle-office function, not front office). Second, 16 months with a consulting practice at a Big Four accounting company where I received performance-based awards on three occasions. My internship later on led to a full-time offer. I recently started full-time employment with the same practice.
*** As far as extracurricular involvement is concerned, aside from the usual stuff (university clubs and organizations, sports etc) I am a member of MENSA and of the oldest society at my school to which only 9 students from each graduating class (supposedly the best) get invited.

I would really appreciate your comments, suggestions and ideas. I apologize if it is annoying to post "Rate my profile" type of questions in this forum but the MS Finance forum seems to be in hibernation and apart from the people on gmatclub I can’t really think of anybody else with whom I could discuss this.
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2007, 15:33
:)) Thanks for your response. As indicated above, I am a male. Also, I lack the professional full-time experience required for an MBA.
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2007, 03:33
It's really interesting to see how the test center policies vary from place to place. When I visited the test center (Pasadena, CA) the week before the test, I was lightly scolded for visiting and told "you cannot come to the center unless you are testing and then, you can only be here a half an hour before the test" ... needless to say, I quickly took my leave. However, the day of the test, I was allowed to go to my locker during breaks -- of course, to only get food and/or drink and my screen said I was allowed up to 10 minutes for my break and I confirmed with my proctor that this was the case.... Strange.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2007, 12:42
I got my AWA score today - 5.5

I wrote not more than 15 essays and used templates. I think the use of a template is crucial especially for Analysis of Argument.
  [#permalink] 23 Sep 2007, 12:42
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