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760 (Q49, V45)

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760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 01:40
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Hi Everyone,

I took my GMAT for the 3rd and final time last week and was fortunate enough to score a 760 (Q49, V45). I just wanted to share my experience with everyone since many of the past debriefs provided me with a lot of great insight and inspiration during my preparation. Hopefully my story will do the same for some of those currently studying for the GMAT!

1st Attempt – 11/08/07 – 640 (Q43, V34)
My journey began in August of 2007 when I decided that I wanted to get an MBA. My initial intention was to apply that autumn but after learning more about the length of the application process, I decided to delay for one year. After bouncing the idea of taking a prep course around in my head for a few days I decided to register for the Princeton Review. My primary reason for taking the course was for the structure but it didn’t hurt that my friend also signed up for the same class and that she had a 10% off coupon from her company that I could use :-D. Overall, I thought the course was worth taking. Princeton Review provided a significant amount of practice material, like the OG11, many full length CATs, and a good amount of timed practice sets, for me to hone my skills. If you’re looking for some magical shortcut to 700 then this class is not for you. But, if you are looking for a well structured course that teaches some useful concepts, then I would suggest considering Princeton Review. On test day I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hadn’t scored higher than 650 on any practice test so I basically walked into the testing center knowing that I’d be back sometime in the future. I ended up running out of time on the quantitative section, which adversely affected my performance on verbal. I ran out of time on verbal as well. Ultimately, my downfall was my own lack of diligence (preparation) and underestimation of the difficulty of the GMAT. No one to blame there but myself!

2nd Attempt – 02/25/08 – 650 (Q48, V32)
After my first disappointment I made a promise to myself that my second attempt would be my last. After taking a long overseas vacation and taking some time off for the holidays I called Princeton Review and asked them to reactivate my online classroom access, which they very willingly did free of charge. I created a strict study schedule consisting of predetermined sets of OG11 problems bracketed with practice CATs to track my progress. About a week into my preparations I stumbled across the GMAT Club while reading about college football of all things! This site was one of my best resources. I purchased the 25Q+5V challenges and ended up plugging in a few of them into my study schedule when I needed a change of pace from the OG11. A week prior to my second attempt I took each GMATPrep CAT twice, scoring 720, 700, 710, and 660. I tried to shrug off the 660, labeling it as an outlier, since it was so much lower than my other scores. Ironically, the same score that I discounted was the best predictor of my true score of 650. I was pretty devastated. It was just so hard to stomach that I had spent the last 7 weeks studying for a mere 10 point improvement. Not only that, my verbal score even dropped by 2 points!

3rd Attempt – 05/01/08 – 760 (Q49, V45)
I spent the next week moping around and feeling sorry for myself. After the majority of the sulking had subsided I decided to find out why I had failed to meet my goal of a 700+ score. I mainly lurked on the “Share Your GMAT Experience” forum, reading debriefs and various threads on the most effective ways to prepare. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t take enough full length adaptive tests and that my pacing could use some improvement as well. So, I developed yet another study schedule but this time it consisted of practice CAT after practice CAT with some OG11 work scattered in between. I ended up taking 22 CATs over the course of 6 weeks. Here were my results:

PR1: 650 (Q47, V33)
PR2: 670 (Q50, V33)
PR3: 660 (Q48, V34)
PR4: 680 (Q45, V39)
PR5: 670 (Q47, V36)
GMATPrep1: 740 (Q50, V40)
GMATPrep2: 720 (Q48, V39)
PowerPrep1: 720 (Q48, V40)
PowerPrep2: 710 (Q48, V38)
GMATPrep1: 760 (Q50, V42)
GMATPrep2: 750 (Q49, V41)
PR1: 720 (Q51, V39)
PR2: 730 (Q51, V41)
PR3: 690 (Q50, V36)
PR4: 750 (Q51, V43)
PR5: 700 (Q48, V39)
GMATPrep1: 760 (Q50, V42)
GMATPrep2: 760 (Q50, V41)
PowerPrep1: 740 (Q50, V41)
PowerPrep2: 740 (Q49, V41)
GMATPrep1: 770 (Q49, V46)
GMATPrep2: 760 (Q51, V41)
Mean: 720 (Q49, V39)
Median: 730 (Q50, V40)

In addition to recording my scores, I also kept a detailed log of my pacing landmarks. I divided each section into groups of 10 questions and documented the time it took to complete each group. Mid way through my study schedule I had already developed the ability to determine how much time I should have remaining at any point during either section. This way, instead of realizing that I was off schedule towards the end of a section, I could constantly adjust my pacing to maximize my time efficiency. After all, it’s just as bad to run out of time as it is to not use every minute to your advantage. Plus, it was a huge confidence booster not having to worry about whether or not I was going to run out of time. I ended up finishing with 3 and 7 minutes remaining in the quantitative and verbal sections, respectively. It’s kind of strange; of my 3 GMAT attempts I felt the worst about this last test. I got a bunch of easy questions towards the end of the quantitative section so I was almost certain that I had done poorly. I wasn’t sure what to expect with verbal since my practice scores were all over the place. I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest when I was answering those survey questions at the end of the test.

Final Words
Most people who achieve the score of their dreams usually feel relieved or satisfied after doing so, but I feel more grateful than anything else. I feel grateful because I feel like I slightly overachieved last week. I am in no way saying that the score I obtained was beyond my true capability. I am just saying that it was probably on the higher end of my true range and given another 100 tries on the GMAT, I probably wouldn’t be able to replicate this score more than 10 or 15 times. I guess it just goes to show that on any given day a few guesses can fall your way and on any given day an few guesses can turn out to be wrong. I’m just thankful that lady luck was on my side last week. Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me. Thanks to everyone who has posted and continues to post on this site and in this forum.

Cheers,

Yahsek

Summary
For those who didn’t want to read my life story here is a short list of advice I would give to anyone preparing for the GMAT:
-Study the OG11 (Official Guide, 11th Edition): This is probably your best source of practice material. There are over 800 real GMAT questions as well as detailed answers to help you understand the material.
-Take Practice CATs: More specifically, take the GMATPrep. The software interface and artificial intelligence are identical to that of the real GMAT. Since the software draws from a large database of real GMAT questions, reinstallations result in 50-80% new questions. The GMATPrep is also the best indicator of your true ability.
-Pacing is Key: Master time management prior to the real GMAT and there will be one less thing to worry about when you take the real thing. After all, what good is knowing all the right answers if you run out of time to answer them all?
-Participate In the Math and Verbal Forums: Post questions you can’t figure out. Help others by not only answering their questions but also providing explanations. It’s amazing how much you learn when you are responsible for showing your work!
-Take GMAT Club Challenges: These tests aren’t adaptive, but they are well worth the $80USD for the 30 tests. The quantitative problem sets are much harder than real GMAT quantitative questions but they are great for training both patience and concentration.
-Consider Princeton Review: I am in no way affiliated with PR. I, like many others, am just a normal guy who had a hard time getting motivated to study for the GMAT. I just felt that PR provided me with some good resources and stayed true to their promise that I would be satisfied with my score. They offered to let me re-take their course free of charge and reactivated my online classroom access not once but twice.
-Do Not Dwell: One of my worst mistakes on my first attempt was letting my poor performance on the quantitative section negatively affect my performance on my verbal section. There's nothing you can do about past sections. This also holds true if you feel you did not write good essays. Just move on. Do not dwell!
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 03:07
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INCREDIBLE :)

Well done mate. Thanks for all your contributions on verbal forums and this great debrief. Would you like to share some more information of the nature of the questions you encountered ? How did they compare to the type of questions we bounce around on the forums (esp the verbal forum).


Best of luck for the future.
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 03:41
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Quite encouraging. In my first attempt last month , I was unable to complete both sections. In your last attempt were you able to complete the test sections in time.
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 04:00
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Where do we get PR tests ? Is it the one at the end of Princeton review - cracking gmat book?
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 04:17
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Hey Super Score. All the best for the college hunt :good
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 05:12
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very well done
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INSEAD Sept 2010 Interview Invite Nov 5, 2009 Admit & Matriculating
Wharton Sept 2010 Interview Invite Oct 30, 2009 Waitlisted & Ding
Harvard Sept 2010 Ding without Interview
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 05:56
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Wow! You rock buddy. Perseverance prevails! Congrats!
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 06:29
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Great Score! Rock On Buddy!
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 09:36
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Beautiful! :-D :-D :-D :-D
CONGRATS 8-) 8-)
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 09:45
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The only word that summarizes everything after I read in your debrief is - WOW. That's a killer score and above all a very inspiring debrief. I am going to take your words and spend more time on practice CATs. Thanks for your advise. Have a terrific summer!
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 13:30
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Great score! You've given some good advice as well. Best of luck with your applications.
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 15:15
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Thanks for sharing your experience , its very encouraging .
I did pathetic in my first GMAT test 610 (Q48 , V27) . I completely agree with not letting the poor performance in one section or one question affect questions following . For me , even though I think I scored decent in quant , I somehow thought I did horrible in quant and kept thinking about it during verbal . I still kept my pace right and was confident about my answers in verbal , till one horrible RC came along and I failed to understand any questions asked . Not realizing that I m digging my own grave , I pushed it too hard to understand and spent some 10 minutes just on one RC , KILLER . Due to that , all the last 7 questions were just random clicks :-( . Feel horrible about my stupidity , have never ever scored such a low in verbal even in practice tests . My practice test scores were in range of 650-720. Plan to roll the sleeves again and attack the verbal section with new strategy . Anyone has good advice or good source (other than OG11) for RC? RC is my achillis heel and I really want to improve on that.
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 01:57
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I think , until now including my CONGRATUNATION makes you full sastified!

This is awsome! :lol:
:beer
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 08:06
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impressive!
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 08:08
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perfect!
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 17:47
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Fantastic perseverance ! Congratulations !
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 08 May 2008, 14:46
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Thanks for the support, everyone. I'll try to answer all your questions to the best of my ability.

bsd_lover wrote:
INCREDIBLE :)

Well done mate. Thanks for all your contributions on verbal forums and this great debrief. Would you like to share some more information of the nature of the questions you encountered ? How did they compare to the type of questions we bounce around on the forums (esp the verbal forum).


Best of luck for the future.

Quantitative: Of the 3 times I took the GMAT, I felt the worst about the quantitative section on this 3rd attempt. Ironically, I ended up receiving the highest score on this try. What was different was I received about 4 or 5 permutation/combination questions on this attempt and no more than 2-3 combined on my previous two. I thought that was a bit strange but luckily they were't very difficult. I'd say mid-level questions at worst.

Verbal: I definitely came in more prepared for this 3rd attempt. Nothing caught me off guard and I thought that the section was pretty on par with the difficulty of the GMATPrep and PowerPrep tests that I practiced with. There was the normal 4 RC passages but I did notice that the beginning of the section was very SC heavy while I got a lot more CR questions late in the test. I owe a lot of my preparation to the verbal forum on GMAT Club. In my opinion, the questions on our verbal forum are much more difficult than the verbal questions on the real GMAT. I think it's because people only post questions that they honestly don't understand, and that happens to be the mid to upper level questions from various test providers. I cannot stress enough how valuable of a resource that the GMAT Club verbal and math forums are.

abhaypratapsingh wrote:
Where do we get PR tests ? Is it the one at the end of Princeton review - cracking gmat book?

I was given access to Princeton Review (PR) tests when I signed up for the Princeton Review GMAT classroom course. They also gave me a PR "Manual for the GMAT", the OG11, and a CD containg more practice material, which I somehow lost in my room and never found :?. I don't think your CD is the same as my online classroom resources, but I'm sure the material is comparable. I would try emailing or calling PR to see if they sell access to the online classroom only.

rpmodi wrote:
Thanks for sharing your experience , its very encouraging .
I did pathetic in my first GMAT test 610 (Q48 , V27) . I completely agree with not letting the poor performance in one section or one question affect questions following . For me , even though I think I scored decent in quant , I somehow thought I did horrible in quant and kept thinking about it during verbal . I still kept my pace right and was confident about my answers in verbal , till one horrible RC came along and I failed to understand any questions asked . Not realizing that I m digging my own grave , I pushed it too hard to understand and spent some 10 minutes just on one RC , KILLER . Due to that , all the last 7 questions were just random clicks :-( . Feel horrible about my stupidity , have never ever scored such a low in verbal even in practice tests . My practice test scores were in range of 650-720. Plan to roll the sleeves again and attack the verbal section with new strategy . Anyone has good advice or good source (other than OG11) for RC? RC is my achillis heel and I really want to improve on that.

Keep your head up. Don't get discouraged. It took me 3 tries to get a score that I was satisfied with. Hopefully you'll get over the hump on your next attempt. There's a great RC thread on the GMAT forum that has a great write-up (link below). I didn't fully use this method because (A) I didn't have enough time to master it and (B) I'm sorta lazy :lol:. This rhyme guy is just an overall superstar. His write-up on RC is awesome and somewhere on this site I saw him totally disect some guy's essay and provide some really useful feedback. Basically anytime he posts something, I make sure I read it...twice :-D.

1-t30247

abhaypratapsingh wrote:
Hi:
Congrats on your great score!!
I started on practice for quant using OG for Quant (green book). I gave first set using 18 q from each PS and DS . I got it all correct. In fact found these extreemely easy.
Is the Quant for OG (green book) right book to practice quant ??

thankss,

I never used the green book because I already had the OG11 (Amazon link). The majority of my practice came from all the practice CATs that I took between my 2nd and 3rd attempts. I would suggest taking full-length simulations so you get a good mixture of easy, medium, and difficult questions. Also, the math forum and the GMAT Club challenges are great practice as well. The math forum is very useful because it makes you look at every question up close. You are not only reading other people's detailed explanations but also fine tuning your processes through explaining your work. The GMAT Club quantitative challenges contain very difficult (700+ level) questions and most have good answer explanations.
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 08 May 2008, 22:09
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Great score and impressive comeback.. congrats!
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 03:33
Hi:
Congrats on your great score!!
I started on practice for quant using OG for Quant (green book). I gave first set using 18 q from each PS and DS . I got it all correct. In fact found these extreemely easy.
Is the Quant for OG (green book) right book to practice quant ??

thankss,
Senior Manager
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Re: 760 (Q49, V45) [#permalink] New post 08 May 2008, 15:26
1-t30247

Thanks YihWei :-) for sharing this great resource.
Re: 760 (Q49, V45)   [#permalink] 08 May 2008, 15:26
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