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GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days

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GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2011, 09:37
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Hi guys,

I just finished my GMAT exam today and the result was better than what I expected! I'd like to share my story here because this forum has helped me a lot in my preparation :)

This is the breakdown of my score
Quant : 50
Verbal : 40
Total : 740
AWA : 5.5

Btw, this is my first attempt at GMAT so to be honest, luck really plays huge part this time. But nevertheless I'd like to share my exp with you in case you're also in a very limited time constraint like me :)

Materials:
1. OG12 (I re-categorize the questions in the book into 9 practice sets -> 1 practice set = 25 problem solving + 20 data sufficiency (Math) + 15 reading comprehension + 15 critical reasoning + 15 sentence correction (Verbal))
2. Kaplan's Verbal Workbook

General Strategy:
I spend exactly 10 days (on average arnd 5 hours study time/day) in preparing for the GMAT. The breakdown is pretty much like this:

Pre-day 1: Buy OG12, borrow GMAT books from school library (in this case Kaplan's Math and Verbal workbook, but I hardly use the Math workbook), getting to know basic info abt GMAT like the sections, time limits, target score etc...basically just do your homework to get to know GMAT

Day 1: Research on forums/sources on internet abt GMAT exam taking tips. Strategizing my study plan (I divide questions in OG12 into 9 practice sets -> see Material section above, and plan accordingly based on that) (2-3 hours)

Day 2: Review maths (basically just read the Math Review part from OG12, i still rmb most of my quant skills since i study engineering in my undergrad) + OG math practice set 1 (2 hours)

Day 3: Review verbal (i strongly recommend to read Appendix 1: Grammar Review of Kaplan's Verbal Workbook, i just review my grammar from there, comprehensive material in one place) + OG Verbal practice set 1 (4 hours)

Day 4: AWA review + practice AWA on some topics (from OG12) (4 hours)

Day 5: OG Practice Set 2, 3 (excluding AWA, timed) (5 hours)

Day 6: GMATPrep Software Practice Set 1 (Result: Q50/V34/700) -> realize i was not strong in verbal, so spend the next day doing only verbal. this test totally suitable to do AFTER you do a few basic material review and BEFORE intensive practice, to know where ur actual score is for the real test, +/- 50 points (5 hours)

Day 7: Verbal day : review grammar, do ALL practice set in Kaplan's Verbal Workbook (10 hours)

Day 8: OG verbal practice set 4,5 (verbal only, skip the math), OG full practice set 6 (timed) (7 hours)

Day 9: OG practice set 7,8 (7 hours)

Day 10: GMATPrep Software Practice Set 2 (Result: Q50/V38/730), OG practice set 9 (8 hours)


Tips:
1. Always do the practice in a timed environment whenever possible. In my case, for each practice set from OG (which consist of 25ps+20ds+15rc+15cr+15sc) I timed each section to be 75 mins, and check the result after i completed all parts (instead of checking the answers after each question)
2. Plan your study. Study smart, not hard
3. Rest well. You realize that each day I do a pretty intensive study....for each practice set, it took me around 3-4 hour for answering+checking questions...so i spent like on average around 8-10 hours/day to study, the rest is to eat and sleep, nothing else
4. Right mindset. Don't overstress yourself that you need to pass 700; the good thing abt GMAT is you can retake as many times you want. I've read people improve test scores significantly in 2nd attempt etc, so dont worry too much about your target, do the test free-of-pressure

Another thing is that you may want to skip OG practice set 1-4 altogether if you find them too easy....I was quite slow doing the first few practice set, but do not have enough time to review later practice sets (5-9)...actually its better to focus on the harder questions and revise them more than once.

Reviews about the books:
1. Kaplan's Verbal Workbook : the questions are on the easier side, but it provides good material for grammar. Great for review, but no need to spend much time solving the questions there

2. OG12: I've been reading in many forums that OG's questions are easy-medium difficulty.
For Quant: agree. Practice set 1-4 are easy level. Practice set 5-9 are medium difficulty. The questions I got on real GMAT is near the level of practice set 8-9 in 5 first qns, and it gets harder harder and harder :(((

For Verbal: OG actually has a really great verbal questions. On real GMAT, the first few questions I got is near the level of practice set 3-5, then it gets harder and harder....but I dont think it ever reach level 8-9. The questions on practice set 8-9 are much harder than on the real ones, so I guess that it should be on the hard level....., especially for the critical reasoning. (if u can answer most of qns right, by that i mean around >80% right, u should do well on the real one as well :)

Final Thoughts
1. Rather than going through many many books, focus on 1-3 books and be sure to master them. OG is a MUST!
2. It's VERY important to familiarize yourself with the CAT interface, so GMATPrep Software is a MUST too!
3. Rest and eat well. Sleep adequately before the exam and bring good snack to the exam center in case you're hungry
4. You are given an optional break between the sections, take it! Although you dont need to go toilet or something, just go out of the testing room, do some simple exercise to prepare your brain before continue on. Really effective to get 'fresh' again bfore your next section
5. Pray, and hope for the best

Feel free to ask me questions regarding this :) Hope its helpful for you!

Last edited by DessyKadriyani on 03 Jan 2012, 06:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2011, 22:01
Great inspiring and motivating story....
scoring 740 in just 10 days is a achievement
Good luck for application part
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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2011, 22:53
Thanks for your debrief. I really think you have a good foundation before taking the GMAT to achieve such a great score in a short time.

I have a question: How did you re-categorize the practice sets from OG so they are ordered from the easiest to the hardest? Did you just go through OG and put the first 25 Quant in set 1, 26-50 in set 2 and so on?

Thanks!
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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2011, 14:00
Amazing! Congratulations!
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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2011, 07:31
Or you are a genius...or it sounds as bullshit!
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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2011, 08:26
Congrats DessyKadriyani!

I actually implemented your plan of dividing the OG12 in sets and did 4 sets of OG12 3-4 days before my test. I was really helpful and I think it was great idea.

Also, I think it is possible to get 740 with 50hrs of prep, just depends on what level one already is at when they start the prep.
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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2011, 08:59
great score
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Fire the final bullet only when you are constantly hitting the Bull's eye, till then KEEP PRACTICING.

A WAY TO INCREASE FROM QUANT 35-40 TO 47 : a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

Q 47/48 To Q 50 + the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html

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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2011, 23:14
Well done!
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Glad I Retook: 730 (Q44 V46) to 760 (Q50 V44)

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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2012, 06:41
Hello,

sorry for the late reply.
Yes, you are right
problem solving:
first 25 -> set 1
26-50 -> set 2
etc...

data sufficiency:
first 20 -> set 1
21-40-> set 2
etc.....

verbal:
first 15 -> set 1
16-30 -> set 2
etc....

catennacio wrote:
Thanks for your debrief. I really think you have a good foundation before taking the GMAT to achieve such a great score in a short time.

I have a question: How did you re-categorize the practice sets from OG so they are ordered from the easiest to the hardest? Did you just go through OG and put the first 25 Quant in set 1, 26-50 in set 2 and so on?

Thanks!
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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2012, 17:15
Expert's post
Very nicely done! And in 10 days? Very good!

Indeed, the best resources you'll need are OG12 & GMATPrep software. Congratulations again!
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Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2012, 10:00
Hi,
i am mugdha. I just gave a ds sectional test and got only 38 out of 100.how do i improve ??????
Re: GMAT Score 740 - In 10 Days   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2012, 10:00
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