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750 (Q50, V41) - The result of over-prepping your weakness

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Joined: 02 Aug 2011
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Location: Canada
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Real Estate
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750 (Q50, V41) - The result of over-prepping your weakness [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2011, 08:55
Hi everyone,

I just took the GMAT this morning and wanted to share my experiences with you. Since I only have my official score report I don't have my AWA, but I'll update when I get it.

About me:
For some background about me, I just finished my undergraduate degree in commerce this June and am starting as a business analyst at a management consulting firm this September. I don't plan to go apply for MBA programs for another 2 to 3 years, but I heard that you score better if you take it soon after finishing school. Last year I also took the LSAT and scored 172, but I decided not to apply for law school after having a fantastic time at my summer internship.

I'm Asian but grew up in Canada so I consider myself a native English speaker.

Prep:
Materials used:
1) GMATclub Forums
2) GMATclub Tests
3) Official guide (not really)
4) Knewton Youtube vids (not really)

My journey began about 5 weeks ago when I went to visit my parents in Manhattan (I live in Toronto). I decided this was a good time to start preparing for the GMAT because I wouldn't be distracted by friends calling me out, plus I didn't have to worry about food, laundry and general house keeping. I took the first GMATprep practice test and scored 680. I don't remember exactly what my Q/V breakdown was, but I remember being terribly disappointed in my quant score. I think at this point my V was 42 or 43 and my Q was something abysmal. I also finished the quant section with 22 minutes left and my verbal section with 35 minutes left. I knew immediately I had two major issues:

1) Pacing
2) Forgotten math concepts

At first, I just opening up the official guide and started doing quant questions. I was sorely disappointed. These questions were easy to the point where I could solve them in under 20 seconds. Clearly, I needed harder material, so I came here. I started just perusing the quantitative questions forum and just doing them at random. I found, in general, the material here to be much harder than anything in the official guides. I skipped forward in search of harder questions, found a couple that were, but somehow I just didn't like working with the huge thick book. I came here to GMATclub and started working from forum questions with a bunch of random scrap paper in front of me.

My strategy was simple, do questions until I get stuck. If I get stuck, look up the underlying math concept required to solve it and learn that concept. I did this for 2 hours a day for about 3 days. I would continue to come back to these forums occasionally, especially while eating (it became a past time for me to sit here with a burger in my left hand and my right hand doing quant problems) or between games of Starcraft 2, but I began to shift my focus elsewhere.

I spent the $99 and got access to all the GMATclub tests. This was probably the best investment I made. I only got through 9 of the quant sets and 2 of the verbal sets, but the timed environment, plus the very high difficult level of the tests really helped me get my timing down.

After spending 3 weeks in Manhattan, I returned to Toronto and did absolutely no studying for about 4 days while my parents caused my endless amounts of stress by complaining about the state of my condo.

After they left, I resumed doing GMATclub tests and random forum questions. At this point, GMAT had almost become fun. Whenever I couldn't get an answer, I would screenshot it and post it on facebook, and then see how many of my friends could get it. While doing forum questions, I would frequently tab between facebook, gmail and youtube. I always studied with music on. If ever I got stressed over a problem I would just get up and go bang on my piano for like 20 minutes. In a way, this helped me mentally associate the GMAT with leisure and completely eliminated any nervousness I had about the test.

I took the 2nd GMATprep at the beginning of this week. I scored V42, Q48 for 710. Though I had improved, I was still a little disappointed in my score since I had started at 680. I decided it was done with quant prep since I knew it was not my natural strong point anyway.

As a former LSAT taker, the logical reasoning and reading comprehension questions on the GMAT seemed very simple. I spent literally 0 seconds studying these because on my GMATprep tests I got all of them correct and only made verbal mistakes on sentence correction. I started watching the Knewton GMAT youtube videos on sentence correction and read over the Comprehensive List of GMAT Idiots and tried a few SC questions from this thread. Looks like in the end, it was a waste of time since I ended up doing worse on actual the verbal section than I did in practice.

Reinstalled GMATprep and took another practice test. Unfortunately, I got a couple of repeats. Overall score, 770. Even if the repeats inflated my score a bit, I reasoned that this was good enough.

Test Day
On the day of the test itself, everything seemed to go wrong. I work up with a stuffy nose (popped a Dayquil), the Starbucks I had planned to get coffee from was closed (ended up at McDonalds), and I couldn't find the test centre and ended up being late (had an 8am appointment). I sat down at the AWA thoroughly stressed out. The AWA, however, actually helped me calm down a ton. I have a lot of confidence in my essay writing as a political science minor, and I felt really good about both my essays.

I took my optional break and drank half a bottle of water. From then on, my practice kicked in and the results are in my post title! Quantitative seemed to go really smoothly and I was delighted at how hard the questions seemed. As for verbal, I must have got absolutely massacred on the SC because I got some of the hardest logical reasoning problems I have ever seen (LSAT included). Luckily, because of my normally fast pace, I was able to tackle these by spending 6+ minutes on them. I also got an RC passage that was literally 2.5 screen lengths long. With RC and LR questions this hard... I guess I really don't know grammar!

Thank you GMAT club!

Last edited by far257 on 28 Aug 2011, 11:14, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 750 (Q50, V41) - The result of over-prepping your weakness [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2011, 10:05
Congrats on your score.
Manager
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Status: Applying for 2012 B school admissions
Joined: 25 Jul 2010
Posts: 131
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 720 Q51 V35
GMAT 2: 760 Q50 V44
GPA: 3.6
WE: Manufacturing and Production (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech)
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Kudos [?]: 39 [0], given: 32

Re: 750 (Q50, V41) - The result of over-prepping your weakness [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2011, 13:05
congratulations far257,

GMAT OG problems are arranged as per difficulty level. Starting with the lowest difficulty. So, for doing harder problems you will have to skip to the last few questions.

Yes, you pointed out right, LSAT gives one a good practice of reasoning questions, and also of RC. I too referred to LSAT question banks during my GMAT prep, and they were helpful.
_________________

cheers
Mayank
My GMAT Journey: 720 + dare = 760

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Re: 750 (Q50, V41) - The result of over-prepping your weakness [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2011, 03:50
Congrats for the score and all the best for the apps
_________________

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Re: 750 (Q50, V41) - The result of over-prepping your weakness   [#permalink] 28 Aug 2011, 03:50
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