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750... Q49, V44

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750... Q49, V44 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2006, 18:53
Hey guys,

Its finally over. Looks like I will not have to give it again! The Quant score is a little low for my liking. Being an engineer, its a blow to my professional pride! :wink: But hey, I think I can live with the 99%. :-D Time for my apps now...

I intend to post my preparation experience over the next couple of days. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Gave the exam yesterday, a few things do pop to mind right now:

1) Usual routine like everyone else. Woke up, had my breakfast, went over, gave the exam and came back! I would suggest not to obsess too much over what you will eat during the breaks etc. Give all your practice tests in their entirety (incl AWA). As your stamina builds up, you will not need any external aids to keep you focussed. I took along some water and chocolates... GMAT was a fine excuse to pig out during the breaks!! :wink:

2) The look and feel of the actual exam software is EXACTLY the same as the GMATPrep software. Knowing what to expect just gives you an extra level of comfort.

3) Maybe everyone else knows this but the breaks during the real test are 10 minute breaks. Came as a surprise to me! I double checked with the supervisor just to be sure the software did not have a bug.

4) Pearson Quant is tough. I got both combination and prob questions, and had to hurry through the section towards the end. I think I got my Q#6 wrong (some terminating decimal Q with three digit numbers as denominators... just did not know the shortcut), maybe that was the reason I could not break 50. I seriously believe that given all the reports coming from people that attempted the Pearson Quant, and as Pearson builds up some score history, we will see the percentiles slipping to lower scaled scores.

5) Go for the Club Challenges. They really help you discover weaknesses in your thought process. Over the last three weeks, I had a set routine of waking up at 5am and giving a full Challenge before I got ready for work. If you have any doubt about whether you need them or not, refer to point#4 above!

6) This has been mentioned hundreds of times before but go scope out your center in advance. I went over, chatted with the supervisor, figured out where the restrooms were etc.

7) The erasable notepad was no problem at all... much ado about nothing! The ink does smear if you happen to rub your hand against it, but I'll trade a dirty hand anyday for a good GMAT score!

Guess that is it. Have started researching schools... onto the next hurdle.

I would like to thank all the members who have posted on this forum, especially the ones who wrote about their post-test experiences. Gave me a nice perspective.

I have not been able to participate in this forum as frequently as I would have wanted to. Just did not have enough time because of my full time job. But I did read a lot of posts, and they really helped. Your enthusiasm is very infectious.

Will post a sequel very soon... or should I say a prequel since the preparation happened before the test! :roll:
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2006, 19:08
OH wow amazing !!!! Congrats ... man all you guys scoring well above 700 makes me want to take that test over again :) i only got a 700 haha but amazing score and great post ... ROCK ON !
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2006, 19:53
Way to go buddy! Brilliant score.
:band
Waiting for your sequel/prequel to be released at the GMATClub box office

Go and Party dude! :drunk
Good luck for your apps!
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2006, 20:49
Great Score Dude!
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2006, 21:07
awesome score!
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2006, 02:46
Awaiting the prequel!
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2006, 03:29
Guys you are just out of the world...Amazing score
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2006, 07:02
Congrats !!! Thats a great score !!!! Good luck with your apps !

I've few query

a) You have mentioned about GMAT challenges , I've taken around 5 of them (challenge 14-18) and my average percentile has been very high,but what extra do you suggest us to do to hit 50/51 . Since you are a pro now your opinion will matter a lot to us .

b) Any tips for verbal ? How do your rate OG now ?. I know GMATPREP is believed to be the best , but is OG for verbal good enough to hit the 38 + level .

Thanks.

Last edited by ipc302 on 22 Apr 2006, 19:44, edited 1 time in total.
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GMAT Challange [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2006, 08:19
Where do you find the GMAT challange?
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2006, 10:07
Great score and great debriefing. Congratulation on your score!
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2006, 11:41
Congrats for your score, you rock :good

Party time :band
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2006, 12:10
Fantastic score buddy ! :woohoo
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2006, 19:12
Congratualtions! Well done.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2006, 20:01
Great job! Congratulations!
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2006, 12:16
that's blast, congrats
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2006, 14:47
Hi all,

I am baack! Its a relief to get 7 hours of sleep every night after 3 months of much less. As promised, although a day late, here is my experience with GMAT preparation.

Started my preparation in early Jan, figured I'll finish off the studying while cooped up indoors during the cold Midwest winter. Had given a Powerprep back in June but then postponed my apps by one year. I started with a 740 so had a pretty good feeling about the test but knew I needed to cut way down on the silly mistakes. Speed in Quant was another concern.

Started off with Princeton, lots of silly mistakes (misreading the questions, missing details etc) that slowly phased out as I got more practice. I had a register in which I noted down the date and each practice attempt as well as comments about the wrong questions. Kinda like an error log. Did not take me very long to figure out that DS and SC were my weak points.

Princeton was not too bad for initial preparation, but then I switched over to GMAT 800. I found the review section in GMAT 800 to be more useful. Finished off all the questions in GMAT 800. GMAT 800 is esp useful in SC since it breaks up the questions into specific types, and helps you narrow down to your weak points.

I had established a routine. Since I am in a full time job, I only had time in the evenings on weekdays, after I came back from work. Used to put in about 4-5 hours then and maybe 10-12 hours on each weekend day. I attempted a full practice test each weekend and then would go back into regular questions from the books. Tried to cover at least 20 questions of each kind every sitting with an extra 20 for SC and DS. Also set aside a chunk of time for review. I cannot over emphasize the value of a stuctured study plan and sticking to it. Had also scheduled my exam by then (for April 15), so knew exactly how many weeks I had for preparation.

After GMAT 800, I went to OG and concentrated on just the DS and SC questions. Found most of the questions too easy, was hitting 90%+ with them. Also finished off all the questions in Kaplan Verbal Handbook. I was using Barron's and Kaplan Guide alongside for the other sections. However, most of my mistakes in the practice tests were still coming from SC and DS. At that point in time (early March), I started looking for something more challenging for DS and SC. I looked around on several forums for reviews and decided to try MGMAT SC Guide for SC and the Club Challenges for Quant/DS. Bingo! The reviews are right on.

The Challenges tend to, well... challenge you! You might get low scores at times (I did) but the key is getting used to the various questions types, and speed. If you are on course for a 51-52 Quant, expect to be short on time. The Challenges are a nice simulation. Even though they were created a year ago much before Pearson, oddly enough the content seems to line up perfectly with the Pearson Quant... heavy on number theory, inequalities, sets theory etc. Reports indicate that Pearson is especially concentrated in these areas. I used to get up early morning and do a Challenge before leaving for work. I am not an early morning person, but my wife is. Thanks to her for prodding and pushing me out of bed at 5 am. :lol: With the Challenge out of the way in the morning, I had enough time in the evening to attempt questions from the other guides.

Enough has been said about the MGMAT SC guide in this forum that I do not need to repeat it. Just buy one. Apart from the excellent SC guidance, you also get the online full length tests that seem to be adaptive. The neat thing about the MGMAT tests is that in the review section they display the test questions as a 500-600, 600-700, 700-800 type question. Gives you a good idea of how the actual test 'adapts' to your answers.

I also purchased the 4gmat.com number theory and Per/Comb guides. Not very impressed with the Perm guide. The number theory guide has lots of neat shortcuts, and one actually came in handy during the test. But if you only have a couple of months for preparation, you might not be able to assimilate all the shortcuts. They need lots of practice to become second nature. Good if you have six months but I did not have enough time.

As I indicated in my previous post, I am dissapointed in my Quant score. I believe it was due to an early hiccup in Q#6, which if true, further proves the importance of getting the first 10-15 questions right.

The AWA section was easy. Have not received my score yet, so this might end up being famous last words! But do not get too caught up in the templates. Keep it simple, take some cues from the OG. I also tried to keep in mind that the people scoring this would be college students. So I tried to adopt a stance, or present reasons that someone of that background could empathize with. Lets see if it worked.

The online tests... there is a real paucity of good tests that are representative of the final test. Apart from the Powerprep and GMATPrep, the MGMAT tests are also pretty good. I did re-install the GMATPrep, and found most of the Quant questions were different and a fourth of the Verbals were repeated, esp the RC passages. Kaplan is only for practice. Do not pay any attention to the scores, unless they are below 600. If you are aiming for 750, I might be a little concerned below 650 also. My scores (in chronological order):

PP1 (June '05): 740
Kaplan (Feb. '06): 630
4tests.com: 45/52 (whatever that means!)
GP1: 730
GP2: 720
MGMAT Test 1: 660
PP1 (repeat): 760
MGMAT Test 2: 690
PP2: 740
GP1 (re-install): 780
MGMAT Test 3: 740
GP2 (re-install): 750

Finished off 22 of the 25 Challenges. Got 90%+ in about 2/3rd of them and some really horrible percentiles in three tests. :oops:

Ended up postponing my test to April 17, since I realized it might work out better. April 14 was a day off at work, I took 17th off for the test. The three days before the test, I gave a full test at the same time (9 am) as the real test. Gave me a lot of confidence.

In reptrospect, if I were doing this again I would concentrate my energies in a few places rather than chasing my tail through all these guides, as I did. The MGMAT guide for SC (and from what I have read, some of the other ones are also good), definitely OG (do it twice), the OG Verbal and Quant guides and the Challenges. That should do the trick. The Kaplan 800 and the Verbal Review guide are also neat if you want extra practice.

One more thing... I found flash cards to be pretty useful. As I messed up a question, I would write down the lesson learned on an index card. Also wrote down some difficult idioms, typical formulas, SC structures etc. Would glance over them on my way to work... NOT recommended unless you are a very skilled driver 8-) But seriously, I would take those cards around with me, and its amazing how much you retain when you are not in a studying mode.

Whew! For those of you who made it this far, thanks for reading this post! Did not mean it to be this long, but hopefully it will help someone. Again, do not sweat it, stay cool. Try to have fun, take it as a game against the test preparers.

Best of luck, and I welcome any questions.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2006, 15:49
That is a wonderful outline of your strategy.

I am glad you benefited from the Challenges. A 90 percentile in 2/3rd of the math challenges is very good. You had the right attitude for taking the challenges. The real learning starts when you are reviewing the challenge questions.


regards
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2006, 10:37
Thanks Praetorian... you are absolutely right. It is really important to review your mistakes.

I would recommend that you go over the correct questions also. Even though you might have been able to slog your way through some toughies to get the right answer, you might find a much more elegant solution in the answer key. You never know... that shortcut could be the difference between a 700 and 750.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2006, 10:47
ipc302, a more direct answer to your queries...

a) Good to know you are getting high percentiles in your Challenges. Try to finish off each and every one, and also concentrate on the answer keys. Each Challenge is a little different so your long term performance will show up weaknesses in specific areas. As I mentioned in my prep review, the 4gmat number theory guide is nice for some shortcuts, provided you have enough time to absorb them.

b) OG SC is good. That in combination with the MGMAT SC Guide should easily get you to 38+. Assuming of course that you are getting a good strike rate, and understand the reasons behind the correct answer choices.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2006, 10:51
ashikaP,

Go to the GMATClub homepage (icon on top left corner of this page is a shortcut). You can access the Challenges through the "Online GMAT Tests" link. #25 is free, if you like it you can buy the rest for 79 bucks.
  [#permalink] 23 Apr 2006, 10:51
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