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750 [Q-50, V-41] - My story [very lengthy post]

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 [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2004, 20:07
oxon - Thanks for the wishes.

Paul - Yes. You were one of the first to wish me in my previous post where I just reported my score :-D . Thanks again.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2004, 08:11
Hi Aspire, time for another couple of questions!
1. Approximately how many total questions in the verbal section (out of total 41) did you think you got wrong or were unsure of?
2. What kind of difficulty level did you have in the CR? Can you remember how difficult (compared with GMAT 800 or OG) your most difficult CR seemed to you ?
Was it even comparable to the tough ones on the OG or was even tougher than the OG?

Thanks, you've already been a tremendous help!

Best

-mbahope
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2004, 15:34
hi mbahope-

1. Let me tell you area-wise: RC - I think, I wouldn't have made more then 1 error in any of the 4 passages. So, max. about 4 errors. CR - The level of difficulty was approximately the same as OG. I really don't have a hang of how many errors I would have made. But, I guess, it must be in line with OG performance of 80-90 percent accuracy. I was strongest in CR among all the verbal sections. SC - I guess, I was not sure about the exact answer for more then 50% of the cases :oops: . Again, in SC, I took more time per question then what I used to take in practive tests.

2. As I said above, CR level was almost same as in OG. However, it won't hurt to practice the Kaplan 800 CRs. The CR questions on this forum are good too. Again, as I have indicated in this post, don't get rattled by "bold faced" CR question. They take more time then other CRs - but they are not very difficult. Only problem is that there aren't many practice questions in any of the books [at least I couldn't find many]
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2004, 16:03
Thanks again!
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Help in aceing the GMAT [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2004, 18:44
Hey aspire2005!

I took the GMATlast NOvember 13 as well and I scored in the 400++ range. Obviously, this is not a good score. In fact, I don't know what went wrong because I just took the Kaplan Classroom course and I practically did well in all the exercises and in the practice tests that I would get a flat 600. Would like to seek help as to how I can prepare better for the test to get a score of 700++ on my second try. I also would like to ask for advice on the duration of my study before I take the GMAT for the second time. Thank you so much!
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2004, 06:55
Hi cpcalanoc - It will be great if you can share what else you used for preparation apart from Kaplan and a little more information about your background, strengths and weaknesses. [You can send me private message if you want]. If you did only Kaplan then my first guess is that you timing strategy may be different from actual GMAT. [The difficulty level of Kaplan verbal section tends to be higher then actual GMAT].

Verbal: Did you use Official Guide? It is THE book for verbal. Again, the verbal section on this forum is a great place for practice. Did you use the Powerprep software by ETS?

Quant: Though I have never used it, I have seen Praetorian's comment that the "GMAT Lessons" section on this forum is a good place to start.

Duration of study: It really depends on your comfort level. I prepared for about 2-3 months. [you can read the complete story on this thread]. But because of my background I didn't have to do much preparation for Quant.

Finally - Did you take enough rest before the exam? Though sounds silly, if you didn't get enough sleep the previous day then it will impact your score.

Don't lose heart. You will see many people on this forum who have raised their score substantially due to there perseverance. So, give your best and give it another shot. :gl
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My GMAT preparations and background [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2004, 15:14
Hi aspire2005!

Thank you very much for your reply! I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my query. Below are my answers to your questions regarding my GMAT preparations and my background.

1) GMAT preparations:

I basically saturated the KAPLAN Classroom Course. This includes Lesson Book, Reference for Additional Problems, Online Workshops, Online Quizzes, Practice Tests, and Kaplan CD Higher Score.

I did take the Powerprep software by ETS. I took them only a week before the real GMAT and compared to the Kaplan Practice Tests, I scored much higher in the sense that if I would always get 500++ in my Kaplan Practice Tests, I got 610 in my Powerprep tests. So I really do not know if Powerprep software by ETS is a good gauge of my actual performance in the GMAT. In fact, I do not know the proper timing and pacing to take the Kaplan Practice Tests and the ETS tests. What I did was to take Practice Tests once a week. Unfortunately, with the Kaplan Practice Tests, I would always get 600 flat.

I did not use Official Guide. But I do intend to purchase one soon. I just do not know if it is worth buying it to help me ace the test.

I did not resort to any other preparation (Pirnceton, etc) aside from Kaplan because I thought Kaplan was enough to equip me in preparing well for the test. I guess I was wrong.

I was thinking though of purchasing GMAT 800 (2004 - 2005) but I do not know if it is worth purchasing and how it will help me really be ready for the test, compared to the Kaplan resources I already saturated.

With how I was faring in my preparations for the GMAT, I would always do much better in terms of answering more questions but I would remain stable in my scores in the Kaplan Practice Tests. I do not know if this is already an indicator that I am not at all improving to ace the GMAT.

Moreover, I would not strictly keep track of the numbers I got wrong in. Although I would note the mistakes I made in certain numbers and try to memorize the formulas and techniques involved once I skim through the entire exercise set in which they are found, I do not keep a record of ALL of them, thinking that I would not make the same mistakes again. In fact, there was just too much wrong answers that I felt there was just too much for me to handle in terms of review. Sometimes, the next time I approach a problem of the same kind, I get it right already but there are other problems that I still get wrong in. I really do not know the best way to approach my difficulties in both math and verbal.

2) My background

I graduated with a degree in Management.

Basically, I am stronger in math but I guess in answering math questions, I tend to take a lot of time specifically in the problems that look complicated. I would take really long in questions that specifically involve probabilty, permutations, combinations, and higher degree of geometry. I also tend to take long in Data Sufficiency problems that involve higher degrees of math.

My verbal is quite weak, specifically in reading comprehension. I always end up being stuck between choosing the right answer and choosing the choice next to the right answer. Unfortunately, I more often than not choose the choice closest to the right answer. I do not know if there is something wrong with how I read and understand the passages or if I am missing on more appropriate techniques on reading actively. For Reading Cmprehension questions, i go directly to the questions and look for the answers in the passages. I do not know if this is better than reading the entire passage first and extracting as much summary from it before answering the questions.

Among all the verbal components of the GMAT, Sentence Correction is the easiest for me. However, the questions I got in the test were of medium difficulty that I also spent quite long per Sentence Correction question.

With Critical Reasoning, I am only able to hack the questions if I write down the conclusion and evidence and spend a huge amount of time seeng the link between the two to get the assumption. Though I am average in Critical Reasonng, my pacing is really long. In fact, I am also weak in Critical Reasoning questions that ask you to identify the significance of the text in bold.


I really do hope you can help me sort out the things I can do to get started in reviewing for the GMAT.

I look forward to your reply. Thanks so much!
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2004, 15:05
Hi cpcalanoc -

I am listing out some things below. See if it helps. First, some key points -

1. For verbal section Official Guide is the best book available. You MUST buy it. The explanations provided for SC and CR are very good. Make sure you understand exaplanation of every question that you answer incorrectly.

2. Keep the error log. If you do all your practice tests in one notebook you will automatically have an error log. Most of the people on this forum can tell you that error log is very helpful in long run.

3. Don't trust the Kaplan CAT test scores or for that matter any practice test score. It is completely weird. Powerprep is somewhat better. But the quant section is easier then actual test.

Now some details -

Practice tests:
----------------
Don't focus too much on Kaplan practice tests. They are not representatice of the actual test. You should be clear about why you are giving the 4 hour practice tests - to develop stamina and be comfortable with the format so that in the real test you can focus on the questions rather then the format. Try to ignore the scores you get in those practice tests. I know it is easier said then done...... but at least try. [I wanted to burn the laptop after every practice test :-D ]. Again, at the end of the test look at the explanation of each question that you answered incorrectly.

One more objective of these practice tests is to identify weak areas. Is it CR or SC or DS.... and then you can focus to improve that area.

Though I have used practice tests of only Kaplan and PowerPrep, you can try some others e.g., PR and Manhattan GMAT. There are some reviews available in this forum. I don't really know the quality of these tests.

Verbal
--------
OG is the BEST resource available for verbal sections. I suggest try doing 10-15 questions from each of the verbal sections in timed condition. Again, keep an error log. It is frustrating at times when you don't see improvement for few days. But after a couple of weeks you will see the improvement. So, don't give up.

PR is also a good resource for verbal. But only after OG.

RC: The approach of skimming though or looking at questions first and then finding the answer in passage never worked for me. I used to get lost. So, started reading the passage in detail and scribble notes for each paragraph. At the end of reading think about the passage for 10 seconds and then move on to questions. After some time you tend to develop a rythm. It becomes like - passage reading 3-4 min, each questions 1-1.5 min etc. You don't even have to look at clock. I found this approach much better. Give it a try and see if it works for you.

SC: Again - OG is the best. You can use the verbal section of this forum for practice. You can see a lot of good explanations in the forum. I found the Princeton Review concepts much easier to use then Kaplan. Anyway that's my opinion :roll:

CR: Same again - OG is the best. Try the process of elimination. You can see a lot of good CR questions on verbal section of this forum too.

Quant
-------
Kaplan is good. OG is very easy. However last 50 questions of DS in OG are good. But otherwise the quant questions in OG are not at all representitive of what you will see in the actual exam. I will suggest stick to Kaplan.

Though I have not used it, some people in this forum metioned that the "GMAT Lessions" section on this forum is good starting point. Again you can see a lot of good questions in the Math section of this forum.

FYI - I may not be the right person to advice on quant section as I did very little preparation for quant :roll:

Finally, you will see a lot of posts where people improved their score by more then 200 points. So, don't let the result upset you. You are from a management background - so, I am sure, you can plan out things and become a success story soon :lol: .

I hope I answered all the questions. :? Otherwise feel free to reply back or send a private message to me.

Wishing you luck.
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Information on error log [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2004, 18:10
Greetings again aspire!

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my questions. I will consider your suggestions.

I do have a question though on having an error log. Is it basically taking note of all the questions you got wrong in and finding out the explanations of each?

I hope you can shed light on how the error log is supposed to be used for me to effectively do much better as i move on in my preparation.

Thank you!

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 [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2004, 18:25
Aspire, I hope you don't mind me answering here :shock:

Hi cpcalanoc, click on the following link and you will see how an error log is supposed to be useful:

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=11754
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2004, 20:40
Hey Paul - Thanks for the link buddy :beer You are always bang on the point :lol:

cpcalanoc - That link provides some good information about use of error log.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2004, 15:35
Good Job and good tip for all of us.
Thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2004, 07:30
Hi aspire,

Your name said it all. You deserve the best .
Congratulations to you. I hope you will get into a good school.
Your posts have helped me a lot.

Cheers,
Anand. :band
  [#permalink] 14 Dec 2004, 07:30
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