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760 on First Attempt.

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Joined: 01 Sep 2011
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Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
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WE: Marketing (Consumer Products)
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760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2012, 14:10
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Hi!

I just wanted to thank everyone on this site. I've been spending a lot of time here in the past couple of months and finally did my GMAT today. I got an awesome 760 (Q49, V44). My first language is not english (spanish), so I never imagined I could do so well in the verbal section, it was amazing for me. It's been quite an experience and I wanted to let you know some tips that may be useful. It's my way of giving something in return to the site.

1) Study, Study, Study

I did both practice exams from GmatPrep, they are really similar to what you find in the exam. I also did 5 exams from 800score that proved to be very useful, the verbal section is a lot like the one you will find in the real Gmat and I would say the math section is a bit harder in some areas (geometry). Kaplan tests are extremely hard, you will get around 60 points less than what you'll get on the actual Gmat.

I'm an engineer, so my foundations in math were pretty strong. I found the official Gmat guide to be really easy. The best part for studying math was doing the 8 challenge sets from Jeff Sackman. It gives you a lot of problems with answers and you can practice a lot. I also did all the problems from gmatpill that had a low percentage of persons who answered correctly.

The verbal part is a bit tricky. I recommend reading english books apart from gmat study books. You will get used to idioms and improve your reading comprehension and critical reasoning. Logic is important in Critical reasoning. I'm not sure if this is good, but try to answer the question in your mind before you read the options. In this way, you will have an example of what you are looking for in the options. For example: it they ask you what statement strengthens the argument, think of a way you would use to strengthen it. It will help you have an idea of the type of statement you will be looking for when you read the options.

For sentence correction, Gmatpill is also a good place to practice. I did the sets of 100 brutal sentence corrections found on this site. I also did a guide I found here of 100 Critical Reading questions that proved to be quite useful I didn't waste time doing reading comprehension questions because I thought that working on critical reading was about the same without the trouble of reading pretty long paragraphs. I spent around 2/3 of the last month studying time practicing and improving verbal

2) Things that trick you:

a) While in Math read the questions well! Stop when it says a number is odd, even, positive and consider the implications this information has for the questions. Always stop when you see a <,> sign. There are cases in which the answer you have is equal to a given number and you get tricked into choosing an answer when it states that the answer must be greater or less than a number, not equal.

b) If a question seems too easy try to look for ways in which you can be tricked. You are quite possibly falling for a trap. In one or 2 questions I was about to go to the next question, but then spotted a silly mistake. Silly mistakes are avoidable and very costly. Don't do them.

3) You will never know if you are doing good or bad by the questions given.

By the middle of math I was getting pretty easy questions and I thought that I was doing poorly. This is not necessarily the case. The Gmat tests several topics and you can be given questions in topics you are good at and find easy. Eventually you will be given series of hard or easy questions. My advise here is too treat every question independently. Each question has an answer and has nothing to do with the question that went after or before. Clear your mind after each one and never look back. Once a question is over, it's over.

4) Take the breaks. You need to breath. Your mind needs to wander away for a couple of minutes.

5) When you finish the quantitative section, think something like Great!, now I have only 41 questions to go and verbal is my best part (Even though it may not be). Thinking positive helps you do the exam in a lighter mood.

6) Finally, I think it is easier to improve in verbal than in the quantitative section. A 49 in math won't take you anywhere, whereas a 44 in Verbal will put you in a very high percentile. So I would advise to spend a lot of time improving verbal once you think you have a good quantitative foundation.

7) You can do it! If a venezuelan engineer manages to get a 44 in verbal, you can do it too! :)

I think that's about it, didn't want to write a long post. Good luck to all of you in the test.

Ignacio :D
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2012, 14:39
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Congratulations on the 99th percentile! Really well done!
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2012, 22:02
Congratulations from me too! Your points are quite good
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2012, 09:59
Really well written debrief!Can you please answer my below queries:
What kind of questions did u encounter during the exam,especially in quant.Which topics u feel one should stress more on in quant?
Do u think the level of difficulty was the same as that of gmatprep exam?

Thanks,
Shreeraj
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2012, 13:24
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Excellent score and thanks for the helpful insights!
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2012, 14:47
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shreerajp99 wrote:
Really well written debrief!Can you please answer my below queries:
What kind of questions did u encounter during the exam,especially in quant.Which topics u feel one should stress more on in quant?
Do u think the level of difficulty was the same as that of gmatprep exam?

Thanks,
Shreeraj


Hi Shreeraj!

Quant had a bit of every topic. I was surprised to find several questions dealing with things like 1/(25)^6 = and then the options would be things like a) 0.04^2 b) 0.008^2, etc. There were two or three of those. They seem easy at first, but can tend to be a bit tricky, and it's almost impossible to do them by calculations, so you must find a shortcut. There were also 2 or 3 data sufficiency sets questions of the type: a school has 80 students that learn english, and 40 students that learn english and math, how many students study only math.

I think that overall the gmat does a good job testing all the different areas, so you should study almost every topic. I'd recommend to focus on your weaknesses first, so you can answer or have a sense of how to answer every question and then start doing advanced questions in each topic once you get a handle of most topics.

There were two math questions that I had to guess. One was a geometry question where all the vertex points in an hexagon were joined by lines creating a middle point O in the center of the hexagon, and the question asked you how many triangles could you form with the 3 points from A to O. (A being a vertex of the hexagon). I didn't know how there could be three points between A and O (only 2) so I never understood the question and had to guess. The other one dealed was of percentages but there was no way that I could arrive to an answer similar to any of the options, so I just guessed after about 3 minutes scratching my head.

There were some work rate questions. You will always find several quant questions dealing with inequalities. This was one of my weakest points, so I had to practice a lot in this area.

Overall, I think the most important topics you should focus are:

a) Sets
b) Inequalities
c) Ratios
d) Geometry (Specially Triangles). You should also memorize how to deal with circles inside triangles, circles inside squares, and viceversa. There will be a question about one of these situations. In my case, it was a circle inside a square inside a circle.
e) Probabilities, Combinations and Permutations
f) Exponents, properties of exponents, numbers with exponents and fractions.
g) Distance, Speed and Time problems.

There will always be some logic questions. There was one about the minute arrow of two clocks. Both had the same time at the beginning. One of the minute hands took 64 seconds to turn one minute, and the other took 58 seconds. The question asked in how much time would the first one be 42 minutes ahead of the second one. You will encounter questions like these of no topic in particular.

About the level of difficulty I think it's really similar to Gmatprep. It's the most accurate practice exam I took. In my Gmatprep cat practices I scored 740 in both, so I managed to score a bit better on the real exam, but I think they are a very good indicator of what your final score will be.

Hoped I help, feel free to ask me anything else,

Ignacio
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2012, 21:22
Hi Vinke29,

Great score. Congrats :) Thanks for this really helpful post.
I wish you the best for your admission process.

Thanks
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2012, 23:55
Congratulation! Very impressive on the 1st try. Thanks for your advise.
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2012, 10:18
Thanks a lot for the detailed reply!
Best of luck with ur applications!
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2012, 11:12
Really a nice debrief. You have answered my questions as well by answering shreeraj. Thanks!
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2012, 11:29
1/(25)^6 = and then the options would be things like a) 0.04^2 b) 0.008^2, etc. There were two or three of those. They seem easy at first, but can tend to be a bit tricky, and it's almost impossible to do them by calculations, so you must find a shortcut.

Vinke29: Could you please tell us what shortcut you used for this? I'm unable to solve this
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Re: 760 on First Attempt. [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2012, 08:11
Quote:
Could you please tell us what shortcut you used for this? I'm unable to solve this


I guess the best way would be to break it up into 0.04^2 = (4/100)^2 = (1/25)^2 etc ..

We just have to find the option that is either equal to 1/(25)^6 or 1/(5)^30 etc etc ...One of the options should come out to this answer....
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Re: 760 on First Attempt.   [#permalink] 14 Oct 2012, 08:11
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