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760 First Try!

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760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 17:36
Hello there, I’ve been a lurker for a while now. I just took the GMAT a couple days ago and thought I would share my success story.

760 (99) Q49 (86) V45 (98) AWA 6.0 (91)

I used four books: Princeton ReviewCracking the GMAT”, Princeton Review “Math Workout for the GMAT”, GMAC Official Verbal guide, GMAC Official Quant guide.

I took 5 practice exams between when I started studying (July 1st-ish) to when I took the exam (September 10). All of them were timed.

7/16 Princeton Review V41 Q42 AWA5 Total: 670
7/31 Princeton Review V39 Q37 AWA5.5 Total: 620
8/10 GMATPrep V44 Q48 Total: 740
8/28 Princeton Review V43 Q43 AWA4 Total: 690
9/4 GMATPrep V41 Q49 Total: 730

I got a late start on studying because I didn’t even start looking at MBA programs until June. I’m a college senior and I realized that an MBA straight of school would be a great next step for me (more on that later). I bought the Princeton Review guide because I really liked their SAT, ACT, and AP test guides. I worked through the book in two weeks and took my first practice exam.

I knew that my verbal score would be alright but I worried about my quant score so I bought the Math Workout book. I was about halfway through that book when I took the second test. Disheartened by my 620, I resolved to do a more thorough review and went to get the Official Guides for the verbal and quant sections.

At this point, I had resolved to get between a 690 and 720. I finished the Math Workout book and took my first GMATPrep exam. I was pleasantly surprised by a 740. When I took this third test, I skipped writing the essays because I didn’t have anyone to grade them (like I did with the Princeton Review tests), and I thought that this might have given me an edge. When I took the second GMATPrep test, I wrote the essays.

I started working backward through each of the sections in the Official Guide books, I believe the harder problems come at the end of each practice set. If anyone is interested, my total completed problem counts were:
55 PS
42 DS
17 RC
22 CR
0 SC

Those are total figures, problems completed over about one month. I was careful to work through any problems that I got wrong and make note of errors that I made more than once. I skipped over SC review because I very rarely miss a problem (native English speaker). These problems were never completed more than 10 or so at a time. I did almost all of my review in between classes or in small chunks on the weekend.

As I studied, I compiled all of the math facts that I was likely to forget (common factor patterns, properties of zero, fast division rules {anything divisible by the sum of 3 is divisible by 3}) into a long list that I reviewed before each test and on exam day.

The biggest challenge for me wasn’t really techniques it was time management. On my first practice exam, I spent 7 minutes on one quant question and flew through the rest of the section, failing to answer the last question in time. I’m glad that all of the practice exams I took were timed, because I would have been a real mess on test day otherwise.

Test Day

I arrived early and walked around my testing center. I am generally a strong test taker but I get really anxious about strange possible interferences (like I get stuck in traffic and miss my exam time or I can’t find the bathroom in time on a break). I know, kind of paranoid, but I made sure I knew where the bathroom was, just in case. Where I was testing, the testing center is in a huge office building so the bathroom is outside of the testing center down a long hallway.

I made it through the essays no problem and took a break (6 minutes of a possible 8) to eat raspberries and walnuts and drink water. I took a deep breath and headed back in for the quant section.

The experimental questions stood out and threw me a bit, I had a hard time moving on when the answer seemed too simple. I finished with about 3 minutes to spare. Took another break, raspberries, walnuts, water, and headed back. Verbal section completed without incident. Some very strange looking SC problems but I managed to narrow down my answer choices.

I was elated when I saw my score. Far above my practice test scores and far, far above my target range. Possibly a fluke? I guess I’ll never know for sure.


About Me

Applying as a college senior, as I said earlier. I have my own small business and I’m working on some university funded research to form a business plan for another. I want to pursue an MBA now so I can use those skills and perspective immediately. I don’t know if I will have a chance in the future to put my career on hold for another degree. This score will probably be very helpful for me since I don’t have the work experience that most of my fellow applicants do. Also, I hope this will help validate a high GPA (3.96) from a large state university. I came from an art conservatory in high school to an art major in college but decided I would just get a business degree and do my own thing. I’m a B.S. in Entrepreneurship. My current business and future business plans all have a creative focus. I’m a woman and I’ll be 21 at matriculation.

Applying to: Stanford, Wharton, Chicago, UCLA, UT-Austin, CU-Boulder, Syracuse

I’ll post all my (hopeful) acceptances and dings in the appropriate topic as soon as I get them. I’m sending in all my applications first round.


***If any other early career applicants happen to read this, I’d love to chat with you***

Edit: Edited 9/15/10 to include AWA

Last edited by earlycareerMBA on 15 Sep 2010, 12:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 19:07
kinda too bad you need the MBA so soon... you'd have a great shot at your top schools otherwise. Who knows what happens though!
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 19:28
Congratulations :) I'm a college junior and I am applying to Harvard for the 2+2 program :) I'll be 23 upon matriculation, if I get in :)
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 19:39
congrats man!
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 19:50
Congrats woman!
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 20:00
Dawgie wrote:
Congrats woman!


x2
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 20:04
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 20:10
congrats... atypical but great:)
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 20:17
excellento
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 20:41
wow !!!!!! nice score gal....:D

I think your good GPA and very high GMAT indeed land you in best collg.

best of luck for your application.........:)
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Re: 760 First Try! [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2010, 22:30
that was a great score and a great debrief (llel'ism applied :) ).
simple and to the point.
all the best for ur appli..
Re: 760 First Try!   [#permalink] 12 Sep 2010, 22:30
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