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740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test)

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740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 12:22
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Hello everyone
I gave my GMAT today and I am happy to say that my score is 740. Reading debriefs helped me a lot in my studies so I am planning on writing a useful one.

I prepared for 4 months and I think it was more than enough. I believe that more studying would have actually harmed my score as I already felt tired.

Test Day
Rumours about GMAT getting harder are not true. The quant section was extremely easy...or maybe I was lucky and the questions were based only on my strengths. I had exactly ZERO questions on combination, work/rate, range etc.
That was actually a bit of a problem since my strategy was to guess any combination problems I might encounter (I cannot solve a comb/prob question to save my life).
I had 2 geometry problems and all other questions concerned number properties, inequalities and percents.
I think I might have guessed on 5-6 questions because I was fallingbehond on timing.
BTW I didn't respect the 2 min timing. Other than simplyfing fractions or something equally ridiculous, I almost always needed more than 2 min.

Verbal was HARD. SC was actually easier than expected with very clear answers. RC was similar to MGMAT tests. CR turned out to be my nemesis. I had to read every wuestion twice and even then I was confused. Sometimes the answer choices seemed to be all wrong or not related to the text, sometimes 3 choices seemed right...I would say CR was on par with MGMAT CATs CR.

Preparation
When I took my first diagnostic test I had no idea what CR and DS were so I guessed on all of them. The result was 520(Q30,V31). I was shocked as I had always been good at both math and english (I am not a native speaker).
Quant

1.MGMAT books-just buy them. They were the most important part of my prparation. Their books are simply superb. If you go through their books and take notes you are guaranteed Q48-49
2.Gmat Club tests- for me , they were a loss of time. The questions are pretty unrepresentative of the gmat and I didn't really feel that they taught me something I didn't know
3.MGMAT CATs-again a hit from MGMAT; despite the fact that their questions are sgnificantly harder than the GMAT, in comparison with GMAT club tests I felt that these problems really helped

Verbal

SC
1.MGMAT SC book-very good
2. Document from this forum with GMATPrep SC + search the MGMAT forum for answers. I think every single question was answered; the tutors there are EXCELLENT

CR
1. Powerscore CR bible-very good
2. LSAT questions- pretty easy and unrepresentative of the gmat; don't loose your time
3.MGMAT CATs-excellent CR resource; prior to the test I thought their questions were ridiculously hard...after the exam I believe that they were the closest, in terms of difficulty, to the real exam; OG is good to understand the basics but useless otherwise

RC
Improving my RC acurracy brought my practice test scores from v37 to v44
In the beginning I thought taking notes would just make me lose time. But I noticed that after reading the text carefully i couldn't remember very much and I was losing a lot of time trying to find that info again.
So I began to take notes: key word from each paragraph. This helped me because:
1. I understood the structure of the text
2. I maintained my focus even when reading the most boring texts
3. I remembered the text much better
I rarely had to go back to my notes because I remembered the text so well; but without taking notes I just couldn't memorize so many things...

Practice on LSAT RC...they have the longest, most boring texts I have ever seen in my life. Very good training.

Practice tests
1. MGMAT-brilliant;
I have seen on this forum ppl saying they did the tests untimed because they were so difficult => BIG MISTAKE ; use these tests to uild up strategies. I recognized at ones where my weaknesess were and either tried to improve them (rate problems) or decided I was so bad I couldn't improve (prob & comb). I remember finding a doc on these forums with prob& comb problems and after doing about 10 problems I gave up.

Furthermore, MGMAT's math problems involving number properties and inequalitites are VERY similar to questions from the real test. Their verbal part has very good CR questions. SC and RC are also good.

Scores:
MGMAT 1: 710 (Q47, V40)
MGMAT 2: 700
MGMAT 3: 690
MGMAT 4 : 680
MGMAT 5: 700
MGMAT 6: 730

2. GMATPREP - very good predictor ; pisses me off that they don't have explanations and I had to search various forums for answers
GMATPREP 1: 520 (Q30,V31) - prior to any preparation
GMATPREP 1 (2nd take): 740 (Q48, V44) ; no repeat questions as the first time I only got very easy questions
GMATPREP 2: Q49, V37- don't remember the overall score

Error log

I didn't keep one. I thought, and still think it is a major waste of time. I simply circled on the end of each chapter the questions I did wrong. IN verbal I re-did them before the test, on quant I didn't bother. I re-did the last 50 questions in both PS and DS...mind you I still got more than half in DS wrong but apparently it didn't hurt on test day.
I believe the idea of analyzing is a bit exagerated. In quant there is only that much you can get from 1 question. Just read the explanation and understand the concept behind it.
In verbal you have to understand why each answer choice is wrong.

A final word: you don't have to know everything for this test. Yes, improve your weaknesses but please, please don't spend hours on unimportant topics like prob&comb. It's useless.

If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them.

P.S I am not in any way affiliated with MGMAt in case you wondered. I just think their boks saved my life.
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 12:41
Congrats that's massive score.
How close are the questions of OG in terms of difficulty for both quant and verbal?
Could you please share that GmatPrep Sc doc....

The reason why you had no prob/comb question could be your q49 level. If it had been at q50-51 you might have encountered few prob questions. It is right to devote more time on widely asked concepts but we should not undermine the importance of rarely asked questions.

In your case your good verbal score has counter balanced q49. I m actually looking for q50-51 to counter balance my weak verbal. :-D

Thanks for the debrief and wish you good luck with your application.

Keep us updated.......
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 19:28
congrats how did you study quant, and how did you study for DS

did you go over the math notes each time you did the suggestive OG problems?

did you review the advanced sections of the manhattan math books?

how many times did you go over the OG problems?

at one point in time did you start to do practice test?
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 02:07
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@gurpreetsingh: questions in quant were very similar to OG. In Verbal, RC and CS were also on par with OG. CR on the other hand was terribly difficult.
Of course, if you wish to achieve quant 51 you probbably will need to know comb&perm as well. but for me it wasn't worth it. I preferred to work on my verbal rather than insist on quant.

@DAYNE: For Quant fist I read the mgamt books. I wrote down every single formula or trick (except for the VERY basic stuff). I think for which of the quant books my notes+practice problems from OG were like 50-60 pages. After each book I read again my notes and made flash cards (= my mostly rewrtiting the theory). I read the advanced chapters as well and tooj notes.
I did the problems in the order in which they were listed at the end of the mgmat books.
I didn't have any particular way to study for DS, but I was better in DS than in PS in MY CATs.
Overall I think my hit rate in the OG in quant was like 60%...don't know why, I was always decent at math.

I went through all the OG quant problems once. During my last week I did the last 50questions for DS and PS again.
For Verbal, I circled at the end of each chapter, on the page with answerss which ones I got wrong and did them again (about 25 for sc and 35 for CR). I ran out of time and didn't do all OG texts in RC.

The reason I did not keep an excel error log is that I felt it as too time consuming. I remember typing in my answers from world translation problems and losing valuable time doing so. I then decided I would stop.
I used the MGMAT tests to gauge my weaknesses (they have a pretty tool which analyzes your performances in their CATS).

I have started to do practice CATs 3 Weeks before my test and stopped the week before. I think I sgould have done 1 or 2 tests during that last week 2 because by my 8th cat I was no longer feeling tired at the end of verbal. Yet in the real exam I felt exhausted starting from q10 in verbal...
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 07:30
Thanks for the document, quite helpful +1 for ya..

I m quite happy to know that quant/Rc/Sc was at par with OG :-D ....
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 09:28
Great Score, Thanks for the debrief.
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 17:42
Expert's post
Congrats!
Good luck with schools!
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2010, 00:42
Quote:
LSAT questions- pretty easy and unrepresentative of the gmat; don't loose your time


leilak

Finally we ended having two major camps here -those who think that doing LSAT CR is usefull,and those who do not share that opinion :)
Could you please specify in more details,why do you think that using LSAT questions in GMAT preparation is waste of time?

Thank you!
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2010, 03:38
Hi leilak,
Hope to get some useful inputs from you regarding SC, CR, and RC.

Q1) How did you remember all your SC stuff, after reading Manhattan SC, there are just a lot of facts, How did u manage to remember and apply all at the same time? Did you use any flash cards, i.e. writing down all the formulas and looking them over before the 3 weeks?

Q2)During your practice CATS for SC were you able to always remember all the facts or did you just applied the facts you could remember and moved on?

Q3) For CR, since you followed powerscore, and i am following that too but as you might remember the book mentions that if your lacking time then skip to chapters on

Must be true/Inference
MainPoint
Assumption
Resolve the paradox
Strengthen the argument
Weaken the argument

Did you go through all the 10 types?
Do u recommend that its sufficient to go through the 6?

Q5)You mentioned you started giving practice CATS 3 weeks before thats quite early i must say, did you used to do a CAT every day? you mentioned you felt pretty tired when you reached Q10 in the verbal part, do u think practicing CATS would improve the mental ability to withstand that?

Q6)For improving RC do you really need to get the Manhattan RC book, i mean i felt the only way to improve RC is to improve reading heavy text and being able to remember key points without sleeping :)

Q7) Just one last Q, for RC you mentioned you started noting key points in all honesty didnt you feel say if you noted for a paragraph stating the body increases metabolism so on, did u used to noted down inc, met and when you referred to it again didnt you felt hey what is inc,met and also if you noted increased, metabolism then there would be so many such terms in a passage, to manage the time to note down and refer again?
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2011, 21:46
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2011, 22:47
Congrats... Great score. Thanks for the Debrief. How to improve the reading speed in Verbal. Any suggestions invited.
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Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test) [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2011, 01:26
congrates great score... good luck for application part
Re: 740 (Q49, V42) -- from 520 (first diagnostic test)   [#permalink] 05 Dec 2011, 01:26
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