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# 760 -Q49, V44- My GMAT Progress Diary

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Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 482
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 40

Kudos [?]: 197 [8] , given: 12

760 -Q49, V44- My GMAT Progress Diary [#permalink]

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26 May 2009, 09:06
8
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Written 8/25:

Warning: As you can probably tell from this long thread I tend to say very little with many words, so read at your own risk. If you're cramming for the GMATs then it's more valuable to read the shorter debriefs

My “quest” is over, and luckily I don't plan on engaging in another GMAT quest ever again. I received a Q49, V44 for a 760 and I'm not too bummed out about not hitting 800 .Thanks to everyone at gmatclub for their continuing support, the mods and creators of gmatclub tests, and special thanks to Avenusaur and gmanjesh for their valuable tips and sanity checks.

I took my gmat this morning. I'll start with the test day debrief and follow with my study recommendations.

I read a lot of debriefs from other people so I was able to get a lot of tips before test day. I know some people have trouble sleeping the night before or wake up really early on test date; luckily for me I slept like a baby and felt really good the morning of the test. I had planned on getting to the test center an hour earlier and grab brunch since my test was scheduled for noon. I ended up getting there there two hours early. I took the extra time to buy 2 bottles of 5-hour energy, 2 bananas, and water. At the diner, it only took me 15 minutes to eat. I had prepared for test very intensely for ~5 weeks, averaging about 6-8 hours a day. However, this past week I didn't really study much and the day before the test I hardly studied anything at all. I felt a bit rusty so I was determined to do some practice OG problems at the cafe. I think this is a fairly good way of getting your brain in gmat-mode prior to taking the test. After about 15 minutes though I got tired and went to the test center 1.5 hours early because I had read that people are often allowed to take tests early.
At the test center (16th floor of Herald Square- NY) I was sort of annoyed that there was construction going on. The lady was very nice but unfortunately I could only start the test at 11:30, so I had to sit around and wait for an extra hour. The test center itself was going under construction and thus there were no bathrooms on the floor! What's worse is one had to take an elevator to either the 15th or 17th floor to use the restroom. There was staircase that said “Staircase under construction, only enter under emergencies.” I decided that having 8 minutes to wait for an elevators and use the bathroom constituted an emergency so I risked my life and used the staircase (which was clearly under construction but fine).
During the wait room I also had to use the bathroom twice for some reason. I was a bit embarrassed that people would think I had an overactive bladder.
Perhaps the most important tip I received came from the admin. As you all know, 8 minutes is a short time for a break. The admin told me to raise my hand and call the admin before clicking YES for the break. The reason for this is because sometimes it takes a while for the admin to come, and if he's standing there while you press YES you get the full 8 minutes. This came in handy because after the quant section I had a couple of minutes left and raised my hand for my break. Since I was in the corner it took him literally two minutes to come over. If I had opted to take the break and clicked yes I would have been screwed ¼ of my time. Definitely try to remember this during your test.
The center came with earplugs and huge headphones to block out noise, which I used during the test. I started the AWA and felt that they were a lot more difficult than I had expected. I sort of struggled through the second one (take a side) because the prompt was so unclear but I wrote it anyway. I figure I should at least receive a 5.5 since I'm a native speaker and wasn't too worried.
During the 8 minute break I ran up one floor and used the bathroom, ate a banana and swigged half a bottle of my 5 hour energy. I'm probably used up only 5 minutes of my break but I didn't care and wanted to start.
I made sure to follow MGMAT's timing strategy of checking the problem number every 15 minutes. I think this strategy is much better than looking at the problem and then figuring out how much time is left. MGMAT recommends that when you have 60 minutes left, you should be on Q7 or V8, 45 minutes left, Q14 or V16, 30 minutes left, Q(14+7) or V(16+8)...etc. I think this strategy is optimal because it frames your mindset. It's not that you are running out of time, you just have more questions to do. If you look at the question number and then try to determine how much time you have left, you may feel under pressure because of the clock ticking down. Small tricks such as (not like ) this were helpful to me.
I ran into quant troubles very early (at #5 and #6) but I had expected this since many people wrote this in their debriefs. Quant was a bit weird in that the questions were either really easy or really hard with few hard manageable questions. I only received 1 combinatorics/probability question that was so easy I had to do it three times to make sure there wasn't a trick question involved. During the latter part of the test I received some brutal geometry questions that involved similar trapezoids (wth?) and regular octagons. I sort of had time management issues in that somehow I had 20 minutes left with 6 questions to go but then 8 questions left with 4 to go, after those two problems. I ended up fairly satisfied with quant and expecting a Q50.
I ate my second banana and took my second swig of 5-hour energy. I had only planned on drinking half a bottle each break but since I had brought two bottles, I think I took the full bottle and downed the entire thing. After I used the bathroom I began to feel really jittery. Definitely not a good thing.
The verbal questions were fairly straightforward. I ran into a couple difficult sentence corrections at the beginning and I extremely long question (comparable to LSAT) but most of the questions were okay. The last 3 verbal questions were CR and very difficult; I spent my last 12 questions trying to figure them out and I wasn't sure whether I got them. Also, during the section I received absolutely NO bold-faced questions. I had heard rumors that those questions were indicators of doing well so I was a bit scared that I screwed up verbal badly. I ended up finishing with about 3 minutes left.
After the test was done I answered all the boring personal questions and before I clicked Report Score prayed that I would receive a 750+. I clicked and the screen showed a Q49 (87%) V44 (97%) - 760 (99%). A few fist pumps later I turned my head and saw the administrators smiling at me (didn't know they were watching). I received a couple of congratulations and exited the test center. After I left the test center I was a tiny bit disappointed by my Q49 (Avenusaur after all received a Q50 V44 which I hoped to match =) since I had successive Q51s, but I quickly shrugged that off since, well, a 760 definitely won't preclude me from any schools. Whew! Congrats on reading through this. On to my study strategy...

Study Strategy
I am a recent college grad and had a couple of months before I started work. I figured 3 months would be sufficient time to prepare. I started my log on 5/26 but somehow procrastinated for 2 full months, leaving me about 6 weeks to study. I was so angry that I let that happen that I determined to dedicate all my time to the GMAT. For the next 5 weeks I studied about ~6-8 hours every day. The last few days before the test I probably studied about 3-4 hours a day. I didn't study at all the day before. What works for me might not work for you, so take everything with a grain of salt. With that said, I don't think I could have studied for more than 5 weeks with that intensity anyway, so I was pretty happy with the study timeframe.
I purchased the complete MGMAT books + OG guides on craigslist for $40, and bought the MGMAT online resources for$40. I also used several LSAT books, gmatclub tests...etc.

Sentence Correction
Materials Used [in order]:
MGMAT SC- I went through this twice and really got the hang of it the second time.
Brutal SC Doc- The first time I went through these I got really frustrated. I kept an error log and redid them a week before the test day and got most of them correct.

Gmat-Sucecss Scs- Available online. They were very helpful but contain a lot of errors. They are good practice but make sure to google your answers to double check.

GMATPrep SC question doc- From sterny's debrief, I found these a week before the test. I went through them in two days and I believe they helped tremendously. In my opinion, MGMAT SC is necessary to get a good quant score but definitely not sufficient. Once you get the basics, you need the GMATPrep SC doc to learn about the subtleties in the choices. Often times they'll be changes in meaning, ellipses, complex parallelisms- things that MGMAT SC don't cover.

Critical Reasoning
Materials used:

Powerscore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible- My friend recently took the LSAT and let me borrow his LSAT LR book. Although I had the MGMAT CR book I didn't think it would sufficient. I also didn't want to spend money on the Powersccore GMAT CR Book. I must say that this guide was ESSENTIAL (I'd bet that the powerscore GMAT CR book is equally good). It breaks down every single type of question and gives you strategies that make every question seem clear. For example, the assumption negation technique tells you that you can double check your answers simply by negating the answer choice and seeing if that weakens the question. The evaluate the argument technique tells you that when faced with answer choices, assume it is true then assume it is false. If one strengthens the argument and the other weakens it, your answer choice is correct.

Kaplan LSAT Mastery- I had to buy this book from Amazon because it's only available for Kaplan students who register for a full LSAT course. Basically it is a list of almost all the official LSAT questions broken down by type. After reading the Assumption section in the Powerscore LSAT bible, I would do the 100 or so Assumption questions in the LSAT Mastery bible. After reading strengthen/weaken, I would specifically target those questions. Because all the questions are specific and from an official source (LSAT), I thought this book was also invaluable.

MGMAT RC Guide- I went through this first and really liked it. It definitely helped taking notes and identifying the structures. I started RC averaging about 3 wrong but after getting through the guide, I was still getting 1-2 wrong per section.

Powerscore LSAT RC Guide- I went through this after and thought it was helpful but nothing groundbreaking. A lot of emphasis was put on diagramming (which of course is essential for the LSAT) but it was difficult to apply to the GMAT. However, I did learn 1 important tip- when doing a history passage or one with a lot of dates, draw a timeline of the events. There, I just saved you $60. Kaplan LSAT Mastery- I had trouble with hard science passages and did all the LSAT science passages (organized in the book). I also did all the social science passages. Again, I really liked this book and would advise any serious student to get it (though it may be difficult to find). Random LSAT Prep Tests- I did like 5 or 6 LSAT sections (each contained 27 questions/4 passages in 35 minutes). I don't think these were necessary but definitely helped. The most important part of RC is just to practice. I used to think it was hard to improve- you either get it or you don't- but honestly after a lot of repetition you learn to read things very carefully. Eventually I just realized that when doing local questions, I had to read word-by-word or else I would miss the information necessary to answer the question. After I realized I simply wasn't reading carefully enough, my RC scores shot up. Quant MGMAT guides- I read all the MGMAT guides and went through them. Number Properties was very helpful, as was Geometry. I think they were essential in improving. GMATClub tests- I got them for free after 200+ posts, which I managed to cram in several days (I'm a cheapo so I had registered for gmatclub 6 months beforehand to satisfy the 90-day requirement =P ). They really helped me concentrate on the details and I thought they were probably my best practice resource. A lot of info is given so I won't go too much in-depth. However, I felt that after doing the first 9 or so I got the hang of them. The following were my practice scores As you can see, not the prettiest of scores. I thought the specific-question types were very helpful as well. Sackmann Extreme Challenge & Data Sufficiency Sets- I thought they were a bit pricey at$25 per set, but if you get the Total Gmat Math (which I didn't) + Sets I think the price is reasonable. I thought the DS set was great in helping my DS. The Challenge Set emphasized way too much on probability and combinatorics (which were barely represented on my GMAT).

That pretty much completes my materials. I also used OG11, Official Verbal Review, and Official Quant Review. Honestly I only completed the questions that MGMAT required, so I went over a lot of the sentence corrections in the guide. Since I didn't use MGMAT for CR, I didn't even do 1 official CR question (LSAT questions were more than sufficient). I think the OG books are helpful but slightly overrated. They tend to be too easy for those looking for 750+ and one can definitely get by without them.

Aside from these sources, I also did a lot of verbal and quant questions in gmatclub forums. The verbal questions helped a lot and the quant questions were pretty challenging. Perhaps the biggest resource I haven't focused on is Google. For all the official SC and most of the official CR questions, you can paste the first few words in quotes and you'll be presented links to explanations. By far the most helpful responses were Ron and Stacey's on the mgmat forums. For the GMATPrep SC document, I learned a LOT from their posts. Don't expect to get your questions answered if you post them on the forum however because the instructors generally only answer questions from course students, and even then they don't get answered in a timely manner. I read through Chineseburned and OG11's AWA guides and did one full CAT (MGMAT #6) with AWA.

I used MGMAT and GMATPrep CATs. They're pretty self-explanatory.

5/26 - 690 - Q44 V39 - MGMAT1 (didn't really study until 7/15 after this )
7/17 - ??? - Q48 V?? - MGMAT2
7/25 - 680- Q47 V36 - MGMAT3
8/1 - 720 - Q49 V39 - GMATPrep1
8/7 - 760 - Q50 V42 - GMATPrep 2, closest approximation
8/12- 740 - Q50 V41- MGMAT4
8/13 - 720- Q48 V40 - MGMAT5
8/17 - 770- Q49 V46- GMATPrep1 Retake
8/19 - 780- Q51 V45- MGMAT6
8/21 - 780- Q51 V46- GMATPrep2 Retake
8/25 - 760- Q49 V44- Official GMAT

Whew! I think that about covers it. I definitely typed more than I wanted to but hopefully you found some of this information helpful. I found that keeping a diary kept me motivated and focused for much of my preparations and I encourage you to start one if you need support. Ask away if you have any questions and good luck on your test!

===========================================================================================

[Original First Post]

Hey all,

I am a recent college grad and am planning on taking the GMAT during the summer before work starts. My tentative test date is July 31, which is 2 months away. The only roadblocks are that I will be away for an entire week in a couple of weeks and then another 2 weeks early July (all vacation plans), so I won't have a good 3 weeks to study. However, that still leaves me a good 5 weeks to prepare, and during these weeks I plan on studying every day!

I will take my first diagnostic in a couple of hours. I'm pretty cocky about my intelligence so I imagine scoring 750+ on the final test is manageable as long as I put in the work. Of course, my real goal is 800, and although I probably won't achieve it, I don't rule it out. I was mathematics minor in college, so I don't imagine the quant section being too much of a problem. Verbal on the other hand will be a monster...

I'm a poor college grad at the moment, but I looked on Craigslist several weeks ago and was able to get all 8 Manhattan GMAT books + 3 official GMAT guides for $40, in like new condition. To improve my reading comprehension, I will try to read The Economist every day for 1 hour. Since I purchased the MGMAT texts second hand (they were part of a course), I don't have any access to the CATs, so currently I don't have any sample tests. I plan on purchasing the 8 MGMAT CAT tests as they seem like a good deal. I'll definitely be using gmatclub for help and might purchase the gmatclub tests (though there seems to be fewer verbal sections, which is what I want to focus on). Anyway, I'm mainly using this thread as a log to keep me motivated. Any tips + suggestions will be useful. I'll try to come up with a nice schedule and stick to it. And so the quest begins... Summary of CATs taken: 5/26 - 690 - Q44 V39 - MGMAT1 (didn't study until 7/15 after this ) 7/17 - ??? - Q48 V?? - MGMAT2 7/25 - 680- Q47 V36 - MGMAT3 8/1 - 720 - Q49 V39 - GMATPrep1 8/7 - 760 - Q50 V42 - GMATPrep 2 8/12- 740 - Q50 V41- MGMAT4 8/13 - 720- Q48 V40 - MGMAT5 8/17 - 770- Q49 V46- GMATPrep1 Retake 8/19 - 780- Q51 V45- MGMAT6 8/21 - 780- Q51 V46- GMATPrep2 Retake Summary of gmatclub tests Date Test Correct Total % Correct Mean time Percentile 7/18 m01 31 37 84% 83.4548 sec 84% 7/19 m02 33 37 89% 93.8058 sec 90% 7/20 m03 30 37 81% 111.1665 sec 80% (mean time getting longer... errr burnout haha) 7/21 m04 33 37 89% 107.7445 sec 91% 7/22 m05 29 36 81% 122.0276 sec 82% (thought this one was pretty challenging) 7/23 m06 24 33 73% 136.3358 sec 53% (blah... didn't finish) 7/27 m07 28 37 76% 121.3407 sec 66% 7/29 m08 20 34 59% 124.5703 sec 39% 7/30 m09 24 37 65% 95.5053 sec 34% Test Date: 8/25 Last edited by bipolarbear on 25 Aug 2009, 13:31, edited 27 times in total.  Manhattan GMAT Discount Codes Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount Codes Veritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes GMAT Forum Moderator Joined: 01 Nov 2007 Posts: 356 Schools: Wharton Class of 2011 Followers: 23 Kudos [?]: 89 [0], given: 14 Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink] ### Show Tags 26 May 2009, 09:24 StartupAddict, I hope it's not you again Excellent, I adore 800 enthusiasm. Gor for it if you think you're the man, we will watch your progress and give you all support we can. For reading speed improvement, I would recommend you LSAT readings from RC1000 series. This document is packed up with LSAT readings, which are much harder than those in GMAT. Those passages are awfull and require certain level of masochism to master them. Anyway, I am the great proponent of theory that during GMAT preparation only OG should be used for CR and RC, because if you use something else you won't enter the minds of GMAT test writters and you'll end up with wrong answers. That is the reason I think LSAT readings should be used only for reading improvement. One shouldn't try to answer those questions in LSAT RC but only to try to read every passage for less than 3-3.5 minutes. If you can do that, no GMAT passage will be tough for you. _________________ Senior Manager Joined: 10 Dec 2008 Posts: 482 Location: United States GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44 GPA: 3.9 Followers: 40 Kudos [?]: 197 [0], given: 12 Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink] ### Show Tags 26 May 2009, 12:29 Nope... I do not know who StartupAddict is, but I guess I will search for that user's posts later on and see if his progress journal will help me. Seems like he attempted something similar. Anyway, so today I attempted my first cold diagnostic. I used MGMAT's free CAT and set it to the appropriate 75-minute section times. I plan on going through all the free CATs from various prep companies before purchasing any. Here are my results: TYPE SCORE ESTIMATED PERCENTILE RANK Quantitative 44 73 % Verbal 39 89 % Total 690 91 % I guess a near-700 on a cold diagnostic isn't too bad (was surprised when google told me calculators were not allowed on the quantitative section). I'm happy that my verbal score is higher than the quant section, because I know i can absolutely improve on the math. Heck... I took Analysis and PDEs in college but I don't remember how to calculate areas/volume of polygons i could use a refresher. Furthermore, I know I got a LOT wrong, so I'm happy that the relative scoring of the test allows one to do well even if he or she screws up a ton. Other random observations: - Math was much more difficult than I had imagined. I thought it was going to be like an SAT section where you just had to use basic algebra, but I saw some probability/statistics as well as challenging word problems that I had to read a couple of times over. - Verbal was okay. The RC passages were incredibly technical (like using scientific lingo about endonucleic-ribozcwewegm#%@#%zomes) and some were really challenging. I can see how it can be mentally draining. - The timer was a bit nerve-wracking at first so I was glad there was an option to hide it. Random question, does anyone know whether or not the timer can be hid during the real exam? - The test is long and boring as hell. I don't think i can sit through 2+ hours of practice each time... I think I will call it a day today since I am bored out of my mind. Tentative schedule for tomorrow: 5/27/09- Go over mistakes in today's exam. Create study plan for the week to focus on problem areas. Manager Joined: 13 May 2009 Posts: 195 Schools: Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, INSEAD Followers: 5 Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 1 Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink] ### Show Tags 27 May 2009, 00:59 800, I honestly wish you the best of luck. But it's not likely. You're looking at ai 51/50 or 51/51 split, and 50/51 Verbals are usually nailed by Lawyers/LSAT wizards. Not that it matters-- 700+ and you have a good shot at any top Ivy. 44Q--- This means you have a long, long way to go. Realistically you can get half the questions wrong to get a 44Q. A 51Q you're looking at a max of 3-4, depending on which ones are experimental. My #1 advice to you is to review your mistakes like an OCD-patient in denial. Learn from your mistakes. Live, eat, breathe the GMAT. Because God knows everybody else is-- including some very, very intelligent people. Another tip I have for you is to save the Preps, and maximize the interval between rewrites, as if you put them too close you will see repeats, which will falsely inflate your score. LSAT CR/RC is *EXCELLENT* for the GMAT-- except the Method of Reasoning CR's. But whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger-- so if you can master LSAT CR (say 1-3 wrong per CR) then you'll def get all GMAT CR correct. Another thing, STAY AWAY FROM KAPLAN. That's all I need to say. I'm not familiar with this startupaddict either, did he score high? _________________ Hades CEO Joined: 17 May 2007 Posts: 2989 Followers: 60 Kudos [?]: 579 [0], given: 210 Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink] ### Show Tags 27 May 2009, 03:40 Senior Manager Joined: 30 Nov 2008 Posts: 490 Schools: Fuqua Followers: 10 Kudos [?]: 277 [0], given: 15 Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink] ### Show Tags 27 May 2009, 12:50 Hum....Targetting for 800 is infact a true way of aiming the highest score. Especially for students who are fresh from college, I can see even more of this enthusiasm. bipolarbear, I really wish you achieve your goal. Recently I read one of the posts where a 19 old guy fresh from college got a 790. Senior Manager Joined: 10 Dec 2008 Posts: 482 Location: United States GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44 GPA: 3.9 Followers: 40 Kudos [?]: 197 [1] , given: 12 Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink] ### Show Tags 27 May 2009, 15:38 1 This post received KUDOS Thanks for the suggestions guys. I am looking into Powerscore's Logical Reasoning Bible. My friend finished with his LSAT and wants to know if I'd like to borrow it, but I'm thinking that might be overkill. Since I scored lower on the Quant, I figure I'll start with that first. Tentative Study Plan: 5/27 - Read Number Properties Book + Do Exercises 5/28 - Read Equations/VIC/whatever + Exercises OG Number Properties Problems 5/29 - Party Hearty 5/30 - OG Equations/VIC Read Fractions/Decimals/Percents The MGMAT guides seem REALLY boring and basic. I'm about halfway through with the number properties and I can't imagine anyone paying$26 for 30 pages of basic material...
Senior Manager
Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 482
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.9
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Kudos [?]: 197 [0], given: 12

Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2009, 12:20
Sort of deviating from my plan... Quant is way too boring but I think I can easily improve on them later.
Have been going through the Powerscore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible these past couple of days and working on answering Critical Reading threads...
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2009, 13:46
bipolarbear, I was basically in your shoes about quant this time last year -- math minor, lots of coursework in real and complex analysis, and because I had only seen a handful of actual numbers over my last two years of undergrad (1, 0, -1, e, pi, and i will get 'er done!), I had to do a lot of refresher on basic formulas. You ought to do fine.

I'll second the warning to stay away from Kaplan, though, especially on verbal. Their GMAT 800 book's sentence correction section is the worst. I'm a bit of a grammar nazi but frequently got half the Kaplan questions wrong. I got all the OG questions correct. My feeling is that Kaplan goes too far to create "tough" questions by writing questions where there is actually more than one right answer and the rule they're trying to illustrate is subjective.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2009, 14:02
Cool. Thanks for the suggestions... looks like everyone here has qualms about Kaplan. I've been using MGMAT's guides to supplement my Powerscore LSAT Bible. Seems to be working pretty well. Congrats on your awesome GMAT score by the way.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2009, 11:33
Good Luck Bipolarbear.

I have just started my test prep and would like to know if the MGMAT CR book is worth it.I am starting with verbal and I need all the help I can with CR/SC and RC.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2009, 14:23
Kiski wrote:
Good Luck Bipolarbear.

I have just started my test prep and would like to know if the MGMAT CR book is worth it.I am starting with verbal and I need all the help I can with CR/SC and RC.

The quick and simple answer is Manhattan CR and PowerScore CR are about equally good and are the best two books out there.
Manhattan CR uses questions from OG for practice, which is a bit weird (they give you question numbers) but at the same time each MGMAT book comes with access to 6 online tests.

PowerScore has its own CR questions, but there are not too many.

if you don't have any MGMAT books - get the Manhattan GMAT CR book

Also, see this thread for details: Verbal Books Overview
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2009, 07:15
Just to update... i've gotten incredibly lazy over the past week and a half and have not opened my GMAT books. Not good at all! I attribute it to being away for a week for apartment hunting in another state. I had brought my Manhattan SC book with me, but didn't manage to take a look.

Back to cramming
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2009, 09:56
I went traveling for three weeks this summer, an unexpectedly long time. Basically I am going to get screwed on the GMAT unless I really cram down. I've been using the MGMAT guides but get really bored after looking at them for 5 minutes, since everything seems so basic. Anybody have any tips on staying motivated?

I signed up for the GMAT for August 25, so I have a bit more than a month to prepare. So far I've finished two MGMAT guides, and am looking to finish 1 per day. Still haven't taken any more practice tests since the first one, but I plan on taking one this weekend.

On a brighter note, I've been reading the economist religiously over the past several weeks, so hopefully my reading comprehension will improve.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2009, 12:43
bipolarbear wrote:
I went traveling for three weeks this summer, an unexpectedly long time. Basically I am going to get screwed on the GMAT unless I really cram down. I've been using the MGMAT guides but get really bored after looking at them for 5 minutes, since everything seems so basic. Anybody have any tips on staying motivated?

I signed up for the GMAT for August 25, so I have a bit more than a month to prepare. So far I've finished two MGMAT guides, and am looking to finish 1 per day. Still haven't taken any more practice tests since the first one, but I plan on taking one this weekend.

On a brighter note, I've been reading the economist religiously over the past several weeks, so hopefully my reading comprehension will improve.

You might try to change up your study routine to keep things interesting. Do some verbal, then some quant, depending on what topics you need to study. It could also be useful to study at different times of the day and in new locations. I like to keep myself organized by making a list of exercises that need to be completed, that way I can pick whatever sounds the most interesting at that time.

Doing one MGMAT guide per day is definitely possible, but it might get boring and give you diminishing returns. Of course, that depends on which guide you're reading. The Number Properties guide is much shorter than the SC guide.

The most important thing you can do is try to keep your study interesting and rewarding. If you're losing motivation, watch some videos or read up on stuff that gets you excited about business school.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2009, 11:21
Thanks for the advice. It's pretty scary when one day you have 3 months to prepare and begin to slack off, and the next day you only have 5 weeks left and are in the :wtf where did the time go: mode. I have absolutely no idea how time flew by so quickly.

I was going to take my second MGMAT Cat today. I purchased the 6 tests + question banks. When starting the verbal section, the software suddenly said I was out of time even though it was my first question and kicked me out, so I ended up only doing the quantitative section. :wth:

So, second exam score:
SCORE & OVERVIEW OF RESULTS
TYPE SCORE ESTIMATED PERCENTILE RANK
Quantitative 48 86 %
Verbal 4 0 %
Total 430 19 %

Good news is that my quantitative score increased, and I haven't begun to review the probability questions which have been giving me the most problem. Bad news is that I still have a LONG way to go if I want to score 750+.

Since there's a lot more quant material than verbal material, my plan is to review quant first and keep doing the practice tests when I begin to study verbal strategies. Ideally I'd like to finish all 5 MGMAT quant books by Monday + test bank questions, and then start hacking at the GMATclub quant tests while I start learning verbal skills.

I'm still in shock that I only have 5 weeks left and have barely begun to prepare. Anyone try the kamikaze study approach? I'm going to aim for 6 hours a day (3 2-hour sessions) for a total of 36 hours a week, which should put me in the ~150 hour range in all.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2009, 15:04
1
KUDOS
Keep in mind that verbal is weighted much more heavily than quant when producing your overall GMAT score. If studying quant for the next 5 weeks takes you from 48 to 49, but studying verbal takes you from 39 to 42, it would be best to study verbal.

As a reference point, Q49/V42 is a pretty common breakdown for a 750 score.

You should definitely study quant, but I think most of us make the mistake of underestimating the difficulty, as well as the point value, of the verbal section.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2009, 20:43
Thanks. I know that I need to review verbal more than quant, but my rationale is that I finish all my quant review within the next couple of days, and then starting my verbal review. The reason is because there is much more quant material than verbal material (e.g. gmatclub tests), so after learning the quant strategies, I can just do a gmatclub test per day to practice while devoting much more time to learning verbal. Starting late July I plan to delve full force into verbal.

During this "quest" or lack thereof, I've come to realize I'm incredibly lazy. I have very little motivation to study and would like to enjoy the summer. I just graduated from college and have one summer before work starts, yet here I am cramming for the GMAT. Today I barely opened my MGMAT books, and after spending 5 minutes trying to review combinations/permutations I started watching tv.

Tonight I started the first of my gmatclub tests. A couple of silly mistakes here and there should help me pay more attention next time. Overall I scored a 31/37, or a 84%. Honestly, given how everyone said the gmatclub tests were extremely difficult, I found them to be less difficult than the math on MGMAT's CATs. This however is based only on gmatclub test 1, so maybe they will be harder.

My goal is to take 1 GMATclub quant test every day for for the next 25 days. Hopefully I can stick to it.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2009, 19:22
I finished the MGMAT RC book today. Did gmatclub m02. Two stupid mistakes the during the first 35 questions. Question 36 I encountered a question asking if 0 was a whole number or not, and I got so annoyed at gmatclub and the testmakers since I couldn't remember this trivial fact. Then I essentially selected the answer pertaining to "no," opened up google to check and realized i was wrong, kept my original wrong answer and went to the last problem, and sped through it to get that wrong too. i realize my lack of concentration definitely caused me to get the last question wrong so hopefully that won't happen during test day =(.

Date Test Correct Total % Correct Mean time Percentile
m02 33 37 89% 93.8058 sec 90%

Anyway, I'm starting to do more and more RC passages. I've been reviewing OG RC parts and generally per passage I get 0-1 wrong. I want to consistently get 0 wrong. My quant has gotten to the point where I feel like my fundamentals are solid and can improve to Q50 level just by doing the gmatclub tests. + mgmat question banks (i.e. no more studying strategy)

Goals for tomorrow:

do gmatclub m03
do mgmat question bank of combinatorics/word translations
at least 8 passages of reading comprehension from OG11 + Official Verbal Guide

After I get this RC nailed I'll move on to SC. Spend a couple of days intensely drilling my SC and maybe then move on to CR, which is my weakness and will need weeks of dedication.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800! [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2009, 19:38
Looking good bipolarbear. 33/37 on a gc test is a great score. You should be within the 49-50 range.
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Re: My GMAT Progress Diary; Quest for 800!   [#permalink] 19 Jul 2009, 19:38

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