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760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief

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760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2008, 18:30
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woo hoo! :woohoo
boy am i surprised and i'm so happy to get my life back (at least until i start the app process).

had a 4pm exam in the US
760 99th percentile :-D :!:
q49 89th percentile
v44 97th percentile
awa 6.0 87th percentile

this score is a shocker. my previous scores:
19 Mar: MGMAT 650 q44/v33
10 Apr: MGMAT 600 q40/v33
11 May: MGMAT 620 q35/v39
7 Jun: MGMAT 670 q40/v41
14 Jun: GMATPrep 710 q46/v41
15 Jun: GMATPrep 710 q46/v41
17 Jun: MGMAT 650 q40/v39
26 Jun: MGMAT 680 q37/v45 (i knew i bombed the math on this one because i took my sweet time after getting stuck on a few problems)

how i got a 760 blows my mind. i'm one of those folks who always had to work hard to get good grades. i hate math and hate writing, but have decent grammar. i took a MGMAT class to provide discipline to my studies. i had tried studying on my own before and just couldn't get into it, so laying down some cash got me motivated. additionally, work was fairly light while i was taking the class, whereas in the past, i couldn't stick to a study regimen because i'd get home late every night.

also, 3 weeks before the exam, i had basically a month hiatus from studying because i had 3 weekend trips in a row that couldn't be avoided. and i then ended up scheduling the exam with less than 3 weeks before the exam date because work suddenly picked up and i knew i'd be working long hours with a few trips throughout the summer. so i basically crammed in in a lot of studying and practice tests two weeks before the exam and i think things clicked for me during this time. that's why you'll see so many practice exams taken so close together. i do not recommend this type of studying. however, i do think it's important to compress your studying so that you can remember everything you're learning. over time, this info will seep away (i'm sure i'll forget everything right away), so you don't want to keep having to remember all those random math or verbal rules just so you can do well on the GMAT.


study materials
- MGMAT class and books
- MGMAT question bank
- OG11 - all 3 books
- Princeton Review & Kaplan to get acquainted, but didn't use those too much
- chineseburned AWA guide - 1-t64327
- testmagic.com
- gmatclub challenge problems - i only did like 3 because i bought them about two weeks ago on an impulse because i started freaking out since i had signed up for an exam 2 weeks away.

i didn't end up using these forums too much for practice questions, except when i had specific questions. i just didn't have time with the class and all the homework. but whenever i found a thread posted on a question i had, i found it super helfpul. i also didn't use the additional SC 1000 and other files floating around. those could be risky, especially if they have wrong answers. i'd stick with OG11. if you need more practice, purchase MGMAT's question banks or gmatclub's challenge problems.

i highly recommend MGMAT materials. in my view, the math is much harder than what's on the GMAT and MGMAT teaches you concepts rather than just strategies. while i took a live class, i'd highly recommend the online or the self-study plan. they also have a separate test bank you can purchase if you choose not to take the class. one thing that is super helpful you get with the class is an excel spreadsheet that categorizes every question type and the amount of time you took to answer the question. there are tables that show average time, % correct, % payoff if you took longer than 2 minutes to complete, etc. so you can really diagnose your strong and weakpoints, determine which areas you should cut bait, and which areas you should work to improve.


now, as far as my tips:
i wish i had taken a GMATPrep test at the very beginning of my studying to get a baseline of how much i needed to improve. the MGMAT stuff is hard and i didn't realize how much harder it is until months later when i took a GMATPrep test and was pleasantly surprised when i got above a 700. the whole time i was using MGMAT, my scores were variable (as you can see above) and never made it beyond 700. as a result, i never felt good about how i was going to do. taking a GMATPrep in the beginning would have given me a better understanding of how much i really did need to study. you may be worried that you only have 2 tests with GMATPrep and you'll start to repeat questions if you take it more than 2 times. who cares. the first test you take is a baseline and i doubt that the next time you take it, you'll remember all the answers, especially if it's a while later. i didn't take many practice tests while studying. i took one at the beginning to get a baseline, then focused on learning concepts and getting my timing down. i think it's much more important to understand where you stand versus worrying about seeing repeat questions later on.


now on to specifics:

Verbal
CR and RC were definitely weak points in the beginning. MGMAT's strategy of taking notes while reading helped me a lot. it takes getting used to at first since it can take longer, but once i had it down i took notes fast and only needed to read the passage once, whereas before i'd need to read it multiple times. i also learned that you are not supposed to do any interpretation at all in answering the questions. the questions are black and white and when it asks for a conclusion, it's based purely on the info provided. not what could be a conclusion given your personal knowledge or other random facts, but only what is written right there in the passage. it's all very literal.

SC is an area i never felt too bad about. MGMAT helped to reinforce everything so i that improved my ability to recognize right vs wrong and the specific areas that GMAT tests for. the area that i don't like is idioms and i don't think there's a way around that except to learn them.


Quant
quant is definitely a weakness for me, particularly DS. if you're good at quant, then you shouldn't have too many problems with the GMAT. but i've never liked math, so i had to spend time studying here. the best book i used was MGMAT's number properties. there's a lot of useful info in there, particularly about consecutive numbers, prime factors, and exponent rules.

in prepping for the test, understand your number properties, cartesian coordinate system, geometry, exponent rules, etc. don't worry about combination problems because those will only show up if you're kicking a**, so if you're just trying to get quant down, don't waste your time there.

in reading questions, don't jump to solving the problem right away. if you're taking over 2:30 minutes to solve a problem, you're probably crunching straight through instead of realizing there's a shortcut to solving the problem (and you really should move on). in studying, i would often read the question and try to solve it. however, reading it, taking a step back, and looking at the answer choices helps a lot. you might realize there's a shortcut you can use (based on number properties) or that the answer choices are so far apart you can estimate the answer.

DS - one thing that helped is writing out the chart AD/BCE or BD/ACE. the other is noting whether you're looking for Y/N versus an actual value. that tripped me up a lot in the beginning.


AWA
i only started studying for this with 2 weeks before the exam date. with MGMAT, they offer to review 2 essays, score them and provide comments. i did it 2 weeks ago, got 3.0s on both and that really shocked me because i thought you basically had to be illiterate if you've got a good grasp of english to get 3.0s. either i'm wrong, or MGMAT grades much harder (or both) but that got me worried so then i searched around for templates and did several practice essays until i knew how i would approach the two essays.

studying for the analysis of the argument actually helped with CR. the point of the argument essay is to find all the flaws because of the faulty assumptions in the argument. this is exactly what you need to do in many of the CR questions. i'm pretty sure that taking an argument and listing out all it's flaws improved my ability to do CR, so i'd actually suggest that you study the argument essay somewhat in the beginning of your efforts, instead of waiting til the end when you're about to take the exam.

for the issue essay, just pick a side and don't think twice about it. come up with 3 reasons why support or do not support.

for the essays, once you've come up with your reasoning, just write. 30 minutes passes by quick. spend 5 minutes coming up with the points you'll make, 20 minutes writing, and 5 minutes reviewing. you need to keep to this time or else you'll spend too much time thinking about what to write and that's about the worse thing you can do. you need your thoughts down and if you don't have them, then you're essay will suffer.

for the templates, i basically used chineseburned in conjunction with the examples given in OG11. nothing complicated. learn the structure of the essays so you don't have to spend time during the actual exam thinking about how you're going to structure them.


Test Day
my exam was at 4:15pm so i was really concerned about being alert so late in the day. i didn't get great sleep, probably because of nerves. i think reading too much about people's debriefs the night before the exam got me more nervous. i don't think i felt the best because i had a headache in the morning and actually didn't eat that much prior to, but somehow it all worked out. make sure you bring snacks to have between breaks. the concentration that you put in really does drain your energy, more so than the practice tests.

to ensure i didn't fall asleep, i drank a bunch of coffee beforehand (something i normally do) and tried not to eat too much food to prevent getting food coma.

i got to the exam early and they let me take it early. i had actually scoped out the location the week before. good thing because it took me 30 minutes to find it. i also wanted to make sure i knew what the parking situation would be like.

during the beginning of the exam, there's a tutorial for 5 or 10 minutes (i forget). you can use that time to take any notes about the essays and test out the keyboard. i wouldn't recommend taking notes about math or verbal since you'll probably want to get a fresh pad after writing the essays, since math is next and requires tons more writing than any other section. i didn't take any notes, but instead typed out my essay templates to get my brain flowing and also to warm up my fingers to type fast. of course your templates go away when you leave the tutorial, so if you want them on paper, use the pad.

after the essays were done, i took a break. i came back with about 10 seconds to spare, after getting checked back in. however, i did not really think about the logistics it took to get me physically logged back in to the computer. (each time you leave, you're logged out of the computer and need to be logged back in by the administrator. you also need to be fingerprinted again and get a new pad if you so choose. this takes about 2 minutes, so try to take a 5-8 minute break instead) my test administrator mistyped his password the first time, so i lost 15 seconds in quant - not a great start since i need every second i can get for quant.

one thing to note is that when you reach the end a section and are about to take a break, the computer prompts you with Y/N whether or not you want a break. DO NOT CLICK ANYTHING. get the administrator's attention and wait until s/he comes to you. as soon as you click Yes, the timer starts and if it takes the admin 2 minutes to come, you've just lost 2 minutes of your break. my admin explained this to me in the beginning, so this wasn't an issue. but do get back with about 1-2 minutes left so you can get fingerprinted and the admin can type his/her password.

another thing to note: during the test if you need a new pad, there's no good way to really do it. your admin is most likely not watching the test takers the whole time and could be doing other stuff, such as chatting or cleaning used tablets. therefore, it'll probably take a minute before the admin realizes you need a new pad. you can either raise your whole pad, so that when s/he sees you, s/he may understand you need a new pad and bring one to you right away (though this may not happen). or, you can raise your hand so you can still keep working on the problem, but when the admin comes, s/he will take away your pad and then you're left staring at the screen until a new one comes. either way, you'll lose time so you'll just have to be prepared for that.

in quant, i started with a rate question and i hate those. i ended up guessing because i was a bit flustered after losing 15 seconds and couldn't fully concentrate. i actually thought the quant questions were harder than GMATPrep. i felt like the first few were harder than the first few i got in GMATPrep practice tests. also, the questions just seemed different than what i'd seen in practice. i must have guessed about 5 times in the quant section. i suppose i made some good guesses since i got a decent quant score. lesson is, don't spend too much time on any problem because you want to get it right. you'll more than likely run out of time and who knows, that could be an experimental question. know your weaknesses and when to cut bait. you should practice under timed conditions so you can get a sense of when you're spending too long on any 1 question.

during this next break, i made sure to get back with several minutes to spare so i wouldn't run in to the issue of starting late to no fault of my own.

in verbal, i just whizzed through the whole section. i dunno what happened, but by the time i was down to the last 5 or so questions, i had like 20 minutes left. that has never happened before in any of my practicing. at the end i took about 5 minutes a question since i had so much time left. the last couple were really tricky SCs so that was somewhat helpful to just sit and think. but i still ended up guessing. i felt much more confident about verbal than math since i felt i was getting pretty much every question right, and only had a few i was unsure about.

when you get to the end, more questions appear asking for your name, ethnicity, job, etc. just skip all that junk - it's not required. click through several pages, and voila - you get your score.

good luck everyone! i'm just a regular jane and definitely was expecting to take this 2x. i'm confident that you can beat the gmat! :boxer2

if you have specific questions, just ask. i'm glad to help.
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Last edited by peaceyall on 17 Dec 2008, 13:39, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2008, 18:56
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AMAZING SCORE MAN!!!

I'm taking the gmat on monday! Yikes! I'm reading through people's debriefs today! :lol:

I am ok on my quant... I'm a little concerned about my CR and RC capabilities... I just want to make sure my mind is sharp when I take the test. What is your suggestion on this? Could you recommend a couple problems I should do to get myself prepped up for Monday?

Thanks again! and Good Luck on your apps!
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2008, 19:13
Great Score and Nice debrief....All the best.
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2008, 19:26
excellent debrief, top score... well done.
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2008, 19:35
Bravo.
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2008, 22:20
can you give me some of that magic pixie dust :)

i think ur just being humble..u nailed that sucker on Q...
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2008, 23:03
Well done! And thanks for contributing to the forum with the debrief - especially liked your test day strategies.. +1
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2008, 08:44
amazing!
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2008, 02:56
Well done, super score!!
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2008, 11:08
Great score, peace. Even more impressive that it was on only one attempt!
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2008, 13:28
Great job. Very well done and a very nice debrief.

It's kinda weird how the percentiles have moved or whether this is some magic GMAC formulas at work, but when I gave the GMATs a year ago (April '07), my breakdown was:

Q - 49, 90%
V - 44, 97%
Total - 750, 98%

Not that there's much difference, but it's weird how a lower Q percentile produces a higher total score.

Seems like the questions have become harder over the previous year.
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Re: 760 (q49, v44) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2008, 12:51
congrats.....
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Re: 760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2008, 13:18
congrats buddy..
what did u do for RC from where did u practice.

do lsat rc help?
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Re: 760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2008, 13:23
sumithshah wrote:
congrats buddy..
what did u do for RC from where did u practice.

do lsat rc help?


i didn't end up using the lsat materials since i had limited time and mgmat materials helped me a lot. i primarily used the mgmat tips on rc. writing things out as i read the paragraphs helped me a lot with retention of information even though i didn't necessarily refer back to what i wrote. it took a while to get used to, but i found that i retained info much better, knew where to look to find specific detail, and didn't have to waste time rereading.

i've heard that lsat does help, so if you find yourself still struggling with rc after working through all the gmat materials, lsat materials would probably be a good place to go.
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Re: 760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2009, 04:46
Great post.. thanks for sharing your ideas
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Re: 760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2009, 22:59
Great score! Good luck in Business school!!!
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Re: 760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2009, 21:30
Congrats...thats great.
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Re: 760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2009, 19:59
Congratulations!! :o
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Re: 760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2009, 08:40
Wow...tats a detailed debrief and thanks for pointing out the important points ( blue font)

I wanna write one like this soon :)
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Re: 760 (q49, v44, awa 6.0) - kinda long debrief   [#permalink] 28 Oct 2009, 08:40
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