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720 first attempt 48Q 40V

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720 first attempt 48Q 40V [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2007, 18:58
Hey guys,

I am not sure whether to be ecstatic or to be disappointed. While the overall score is 96th percentile, my quant part is only 86th percentile. I intend to apply to Princeton for the Masters in Finance course. They require a GRE 790 median in Maths. I am not sure how this score compares.

I will publish a more detailed description of what I did and how it went a little later. I spent only about a month and a half in preparation, so I am reasonably satisfied. Although still disappointed with my Quant score, as I was regularly scoring 49 in the trial tests.

Guys in the forum, thank you all for your support and assistance in the past few days. It was truly invaluable. I do not think I would have achieved this score, if it were not for you all....

*** Update
Just received my AWA score of 5

Last edited by bsd_lover on 24 Jun 2007, 15:54, edited 3 times in total.
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18 Jun 2007, 19:33
My preparatory test scores (for the score estimator) in the order I took them.

Kaplan CAT 1 - 590 (The only appropriate place for Kaplan is my rubbish bin).
Gmat Prep 1 - 680 (I did do the whole thing, including the essays)
Power Prep 1- 710
Gmat Prep 2 - 710 (slightly tainted since its easy to identify OG questions)
Power Prep 2 - 740 (again , very tainted , since its easy to identify the tough CR questions from OG)
Gmat Prep 1 (retake) - 740 (Seemed to be hitting my peak)

I did not retake Gmat Prep 2 as I realized that the tests, while improving my stamina, were giving me a false sense of confidence.
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18 Jun 2007, 20:05
I might as well get this out of my head while its still fresh.

The most important thing I realized during my preparation was to have the mental stamina to finish the exam and have some in reserve. So I focused on doing CATs in real time scenarios. I also focused on doing FULL CATs and not skipping the AWAs.

I forced myself to NOT do any GMAT work yesterday so as to conserve my energy for today.

My test was scheduled at 9am. I am normally not a morning person, so I forced myself to wake up at 6 am the day before, which meant I was pretty sleepy last night and was able to sleep really soundly before waking up at 7 today.

Made myself a good breakfast (I live by myself). Toast, eggs and big glass of milk. Listened to 'the strokes' while eating to psych me up. Then went to a cafe near the testing center by 8am. for 30 minutes I did some warm ups (some sentence correction , some CR , Some Data sufficiency). Also drank a cup of flat white in the process. I also brought 3 bananas with me. 1 for each break and one for just before the start of the test.

I was at the testing center at 8.30 and it seems I was the only person doing the GMAT today. All good so far.

9 am. The test program started. The AWAs were pretty straight forward. I was not aiming for a high score in those anyway, so I just wrote a couple of obligatory pieces of text. After working in Big 4 Consulting for 3-4 years , spewing out some on the spot BS becomes second nature .

So far so good. I was mentally feeling good, took the first break. Was then confronted with Maths. The first question really really threw me off. I think it was a case of nerves. It was a pretty simple simultaneous equations problem, the sort that I finish in a minute normally, but under pressure I was panicking. I took TEN MINUTES to do just the first question. I was in real trouble. But I told myself to calm down and relax. I have finished several Maths CATs with over 10 minutes to spare, so I was sure I could finish on time.

I did rush through some questions in the middle and I was getting some rather easy problems towards the end. So I knew that something had gone wrong in Quant. The questions were so easy towards the latter half that I was finished ten minutes before time DESPITE spending 10 minutes on the first question

I knew at that moment that I had blown it in maths, but I was feeling relaxed. During the second break I told myself that I need to do well in Verbal. My mind was still pretty fresh.

It started off with an easy SC problem and a few CRs. Then the first RC came along. This was a difficult but and very poorly structured passage.(i.e. one LONG paragraph and some rather heavy language). This assured me that I was on the right track with verbals.

I read the whole thing twice. In fact I kept reading the whole passages throughout the test (none of that skimming, paraphrasing or structure map stuff). Its like a once off time investment, once I fully understood the passage, I could knock off 2-4 questions in less than 2 minutes.

The sentence correction was actually pretty easy. All the practice was paying off I guess. There were some slightly tricky CRs but nothing too bad. Towards the end, I knew I had done reasonably well on the verbals.

I was contemplating canceling my score towards the end, but then I said to myself that I have spent 250 USD on this, I might as well use it.

The flashing 720 made it worth while , but the 48 in maths left me with a feeling of "what might have been ..."

I don't think taking it again will achieve much. I am still not sure which universities, apart from Princeton, will I apply to or which courses I want to aim at. But at least I have plenty of time to think about it

Last edited by bsd_lover on 18 Jun 2007, 23:07, edited 1 time in total.
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18 Jun 2007, 21:31
hey BSD ! cool score ..congratz

a query though ..

I always thought gmat prep was power prep !!
Which is the one we D/L from mba.com and how do we get a hold of the other ?
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18 Jun 2007, 21:33

I downloaded it on BitTorrent, I suspect Powerprep is an older version of GmatPrep. Several questions in Powerprep were directly out of the OG.
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18 Jun 2007, 22:51
Hey congratulation! Cheers
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18 Jun 2007, 22:52
Here's the promised post about preparation.

After investigating top business schools, I realized that I needed a 700+ score to have any assured chances of getting into the Ultra Elite schools. Since I had recently quit my job I decided not to pick up any new roles till I had finished the GMAT. I also realized that aiming for 750+ is probably not worthwhile, given that I can only survive for a month or so without any income, however 700-750 was realistic.

I got the following books :
Barrons (a really old edition borrowed from a friend)
Kaplan 800
McGraw Hill
Princeton Review
OG 11th Edition
OG Maths (Green one)
OG Verbal (Purple one)

This was all BEFORE I discovered the Gmat club. After discovering the GMAT club, I got the following :
-All the notes from "sergey_is_cool" (thanks sergey they were extremely useful).
-A software called GMatter.

Initially, I found the maths very easy. The first 100 or so questions in the OG were not even worth doing. The data sufficiency questions were slightly trickier since it is easy to make silly errors in those.

The CR and RC were so so, but I was absolutely hopeless at sentence correction. I knew I had to improve in several areas if I were to achieve a 700+ score.

A note to any aspiring GMAT taker. You do not have to be very smart to be good at GMAT. I would consider myself in the 70th percentile as far as general intelligence is concerned. I only did 3 things that helped me get a good score : practice, practice and more practice.

I worked though Barrons (which is not the best book IMHO). Then I worked through Kaplan 800. It is a surprisingly useful book, when compared to all the other rubbish that Kaplan has produced. My first trial test on a Kaplan CAT was 590 which I thought was utter rubbish.

Then finally I worked through the OGs . I must have gone through 4000+ questions in the first month, and by about the 3rd of that month, I started recognizing sentence correction patterns. Generally an elimination strategy works really well.
I also found marking SC questions that I got incorrect initially, then reading the grammatical concept behind it and then revisiting the question and trying to solve it correctly in 2 weeks time, very useful.

I was doing all this work on my laptop. Two weeks into my preparation, my laptop got stolen. That was the absolute low point of my preparation. I lost a lot of preparation material that I had conjured. I was extremely unmotivated to do the test, thereafter. But thanks to encouragement of my friends and people on this forum, I persevered.

Then I ran through the OGs and eventually took the GmatPrep test 1. Scored 680. Close but no cigar. This was the first time that I took the test simulating real conditions (i.e. 9am start , full AWAs , only 5 minute breaks). This was when it occurred to me that GMAT is as much a test of mental endurance as it is of your Maths and verbal abilities.

Being a programmer and an avid runner, mental marathons are not new to me, so I was able to get used to a 3.5 hour test fairly quickly and did all my future CATs in "full" mode. Those who are not used to staring at the screen and providing focused concentration at a long stretch, better get used to doing so before taking the test.

After the first GmatPrep test, I discovered that my biggest problems lay in Sentence correction and Data sufficiency. This was strange to me, as by this time I was able to answer 80% of SC's correctly on average, while practicing from books.

I realized that taking the test while looking at the computer screen is different from doing the same question from a book. For some reason, I am more "comfortable" reading out of a book. For this reason, GMatter software was invaluable, since it helped me run through an enormous number of verbal question on the screen.

By this time I was actively participating in the forum as well. Then with 2 weeks left to go for the test, I decided to do GmatPrep2. I scored 710 in that. I knew I was close to being ready. The next few days I just did CATs and eventually scored 740 in GmatPrep1. This was just one week before the actual test. Of course I knew that my actual ability was a little less, since I could identify several questions especially in the Verbal section straight from the OG.

I knew that I was nearly there. The last week was spent just relaxing, posting on the forum and just reading up on some of the really advanced concepts (like modulus maths, probabilities and combinatorics). Although, I did not need to utilize any of these concepts on the test, because I did not do the maths part of the test quite so well (refer to my earlier posts for details on that).

What happened after that can be found on my earlier post about today .
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18 Jun 2007, 23:32
Excellent !... Congrats & thanks for the debriefing :D

All the GMATClub is here
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18 Jun 2007, 23:41
Thanks fig, much appreciate your help on several Maths concepts over the last few weeks.
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19 Jun 2007, 05:41
Great score! A 40 on the verbal is excellent. I know how you feel about the math. I too scored below all my practice tests. However, a 48 certainly nothing to be ashamed about. Just work a bit more and you'll rock the GRE.
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19 Jun 2007, 06:09
Thanks Baer,

You are one of the many members whose experiences I have learnt from.

The Princeton course also accepts GMAT scores. However they do not provide any 'concrete' data on what kind of score they require if one were to do GMAT instead of GRE.

I do not intend to take the GRE. In fact I have had a gutful of standardised tests. I want a change in careers, I want to learn about Hedge funds, Financial Econometrics and Algorithmic trading. I feel like I am wasting my time doing this Sentence correction and data sufficiency business. Revision of Differential Equations and Linear Algebra will be far more useful to me in my future endeavors.

You can understand why I am disappointed with a 48Q. I pride myself in my Quantitative abilities, but I wont be able to reflect this accurately on any of my applications based on this score .
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19 Jun 2007, 06:35
Congratulations bsd_lover!! It's nice to see a club member get a super score. Your participation in the forums was great to watch (I should know cos thats all that I do these days ). And I'm sure it was of immense help to others who were participating at the same time.

I am not sure if Q48 is viewed as good or average but IMO if your job requires you to use quant-related skills or if you have taken any quant-related courses earlier then I think you should be fine even if your Q48 might appear average to Princeton. Just bring it out in your apps .
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19 Jun 2007, 17:08
Hi Vikramjit,

I have some earlier correspondence with Princeton, who suggest that I do some Maths papers part time of my own accord, since I have been out of academia and in the workforce for so long (7+ years). I will try and contact them again (this time with my score) and ask them if its still best to just do the Maths papers.

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Re: 720 first attempt 48Q 40V [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2007, 22:09
bsd_lover wrote:
Hey guys,

I am not sure whether to be ecstatic or to be disappointed. While the overall score is 96th percentile, my quant part is only 86th percentile. I intend to apply to Princeton for the Masters in Finance course. They require a GRE 790 median in Maths. I am not sure how this score compares.

I will publish a more detailed description of what I did and how it went a little later. I spent only about a month and a half in preparation, so I am reasonably satisfied. Although still disappointed with my Quant score, as I was regularly scoring 49 in the trial tests.

Guys in the forum, thank you all for your support and assistance in the past few days. It was truly invaluable. I do not think I would have achieved this score, if it were not for you all....

grate. congrats. you missed few Qts. verbal is perfect. you are 750+ candidate.

I also heard that Princeton's MS finance is really strong.
goodluck.

h
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19 Jun 2007, 23:18
Hi Himalayan,

Thanks for all your help / interesting discussions on the quant forum. I hope to continue participating, although I wont take the GMAT again. Looking forward to hearing about your own GMAT experience (presuming that you havent already taken the test).
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20 Jun 2007, 08:21
Congrats man...
You have got really a good score. Verbal 40, wow....I wish I could get 40 in verbal.
Good luck for the application process.
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20 Jun 2007, 08:57
Thanks heaps vshaunk,

I am sure that with your intelligence (evidenced by many in the maths forum), you will have no difficulty crossing the verbal hurdle with some more practice.

Here's to your own GMAT experience story .
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24 Jun 2007, 21:26
bsd_lover wrote:
Here's the promised post about preparation.

After investigating top business schools, I realized that I needed a 700+ score to have any assured chances of getting into the Ultra Elite schools. Since I had recently quit my job I decided not to pick up any new roles till I had finished the GMAT. I also realized that aiming for 750+ is probably not worthwhile, given that I can only survive for a month or so without any income, however 700-750 was realistic.

I got the following books :
Barrons (a really old edition borrowed from a friend)
Kaplan 800
McGraw Hill
Princeton Review
OG 11th Edition
OG Maths (Green one)
OG Verbal (Purple one)

This was all BEFORE I discovered the Gmat club. After discovering the GMAT club, I got the following :
-All the notes from "sergey_is_cool" (thanks sergey they were extremely useful).
-A software called GMatter.

Initially, I found the maths very easy. The first 100 or so questions in the OG were not even worth doing. The data sufficiency questions were slightly trickier since it is easy to make silly errors in those.

The CR and RC were so so, but I was absolutely hopeless at sentence correction. I knew I had to improve in several areas if I were to achieve a 700+ score.

A note to any aspiring GMAT taker. You do not have to be very smart to be good at GMAT. I would consider myself in the 70th percentile as far as general intelligence is concerned. I only did 3 things that helped me get a good score : practice, practice and more practice.

I worked though Barrons (which is not the best book IMHO). Then I worked through Kaplan 800. It is a surprisingly useful book, when compared to all the other rubbish that Kaplan has produced. My first trial test on a Kaplan CAT was 590 which I thought was utter rubbish.

Then finally I worked through the OGs . I must have gone through 4000+ questions in the first month, and by about the 3rd of that month, I started recognizing sentence correction patterns. Generally an elimination strategy works really well.
I also found marking SC questions that I got incorrect initially, then reading the grammatical concept behind it and then revisiting the question and trying to solve it correctly in 2 weeks time, very useful.

I was doing all this work on my laptop. Two weeks into my preparation, my laptop got stolen. That was the absolute low point of my preparation. I lost a lot of preparation material that I had conjured. I was extremely unmotivated to do the test, thereafter. But thanks to encouragement of my friends and people on this forum, I persevered.

Then I ran through the OGs and eventually took the GmatPrep test 1. Scored 680. Close but no cigar. This was the first time that I took the test simulating real conditions (i.e. 9am start , full AWAs , only 5 minute breaks). This was when it occurred to me that GMAT is as much a test of mental endurance as it is of your Maths and verbal abilities.

Being a programmer and an avid runner, mental marathons are not new to me, so I was able to get used to a 3.5 hour test fairly quickly and did all my future CATs in "full" mode. Those who are not used to staring at the screen and providing focused concentration at a long stretch, better get used to doing so before taking the test.

After the first GmatPrep test, I discovered that my biggest problems lay in Sentence correction and Data sufficiency. This was strange to me, as by this time I was able to answer 80% of SC's correctly on average, while practicing from books.

I realized that taking the test while looking at the computer screen is different from doing the same question from a book. For some reason, I am more "comfortable" reading out of a book. For this reason, GMatter software was invaluable, since it helped me run through an enormous number of verbal question on the screen.

By this time I was actively participating in the forum as well. Then with 2 weeks left to go for the test, I decided to do GmatPrep2. I scored 710 in that. I knew I was close to being ready. The next few days I just did CATs and eventually scored 740 in GmatPrep1. This was just one week before the actual test. Of course I knew that my actual ability was a little less, since I could identify several questions especially in the Verbal section straight from the OG.

I knew that I was nearly there. The last week was spent just relaxing, posting on the forum and just reading up on some of the really advanced concepts (like modulus maths, probabilities and combinatorics). Although, I did not need to utilize any of these concepts on the test, because I did not do the maths part of the test quite so well (refer to my earlier posts for details on that).

What happened after that can be found on my earlier post about today .

cpngrats on the awesome score.

it is great to hear someone else mention that they do better "on paper" compared to the computer screen. i thought i was crazy... there is just something about being able to mark up a sentance on a piece of paper or scribble on a graph etc.
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24 Jun 2007, 23:36
Thanks anonymouse,

There is some evidence to suggest that the new generation, which has grown up with computers, is more used to reading from a screen than it is to reading from paper based sources. It just goes to show that we are perhaps rather old.

Good luck with your own preparation. Do try out GMatter ,it helps ...

anonymousegmat wrote:

cpngrats on the awesome score.

it is great to hear someone else mention that they do better "on paper" compared to the computer screen. i thought i was crazy... there is just something about being able to mark up a sentance on a piece of paper or scribble on a graph etc.
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25 Jun 2007, 06:23
i have this problem ..

hit rate at RC/CR reading from paper 80-90%
hit rate at RC/CR reading from comp .screen : 40-50%
25 Jun 2007, 06:23

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