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760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks

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760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 08:19
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It's done! Although I think I underperformed during the test, I'm not going to complain about a 760. My goal was to hit 750+ and I made it (by a hair).

Background:
I've always been a pretty strong test taker, so I knew that I could do well on the GMAT. After 1 week of prep, I took my first GMATPrep and hit 750. It is tempting to conclude that I could have gotten a good score had I taken the test right then and there. I don't think this is the case. Though my starting average was high, my standard deviation was also very high. For instance, I might have gotten 780 on a good day, and 680 on a bad day.

I booked my test and spent the next 5 weeks looking to minimize the standard deviation of my results. I wanted to go into the test confident that if I "bombed" the test, I would still walk away with a good score.

Going into the test, I knew that my "average" performance was around a Q50.5, V44. For instance, on a good day I might get Q51 V46, whereas on a bad day I might get a Q50 V42. Factor in a downwards adjustment for test-day nerves and jitters, and I figured that "worst case" performance would be around Q49 V40.


GMAT-eve

I do triathlons so I know how important proper nutrition is to long periods of strenuous activity. The night before the GMAT I had my traditional night-before-tri meal. A gigantic bowl of pasta, although really any sort of complex carbs will do. Got to bed with 10 hours of sleep planned but tossing and turning resulted in me only getting around 6.

The Test
Got to the test center about 1 hour early, and the test administrators allowed me to start early. I must say that the entire process was very professional.

AWA started off well, and I was confident that my first essay was a 6.0 response. The second AWA extremely tough. Then again, I only looked at one pair of AWA questions before the test, so I really have no idea what they are looking for.

Quant - well, this is where the trouble started. By the time I had gone through the first 3 questions, I had already burned 8 minutes. To top that off, I had to guess on the third question! I knew that the slow start most likely kicked me out of the Q51 band, but fought hard the rest of the way to maximize my score and get to the Q50 range. By the 30th question or so, questions were sufficiently tough that I knew I had recovered nicely.

Verbal - took a quick break, and sat back down for the verbal. During my prep I became so strong at CR and RC that I felt I could get any question they threw at me correct. In my GmatPrep, for instance, I routinely got all RC and CR correct. My strategy to get a high V score was to get all RC and CR and do "relatively well" on SC. Things were going well, but then I got this absolute beast of an RC passage.

I have dealt with long RC passages before and I know how to handle lengthy RCs. But this one was particularly tough to digest. I use the lengthy strategy to RC (I take notes), so I always burn a lot of time reading, but can then answer each question in under 30 seconds. Well, this passage took me 8 minutes to read and annotate. Then as I re-read my notes, panic started to set in. I had no idea what the passage was trying to say! I didn't even understand the main message, let alone all the inane details. I can see the clock continue to tick, so I just closed my eyes and relaxed for a few seconds. The fact that I kept my cool is what ended up saving me. I took it 1 question at a time, re-reading portions of the passage as I needed to. In the end I figure I may have gotten 3/5 of the questions, "disastrous" based on my strategy of getting perfect on RC and CR. By that point, I knew I was having a bad day. Nevertheless, I knew that I could still get a 750 on a bad day, so I just kept pushing through to the end.

After clicking on report scores, the 3-4 second delay felt like an eternity. Imagine my relief when the scores came up on the screen.


Next Steps

I plan on applying next fall for 2010 admission, or the year after that for 2011 admission. I'm really relieved that I can tick the GMAT off the list. Now I have the next 14 months or so to get my essays in order. :)

Study Log
I kept a detailed study log of what I did to prepare here: http://gmatclub.com/forum/8-t68965

Thanks for all the help over the past few weeks everybody!
Patrick.
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Last edited by PatrickBateman on 21 Aug 2008, 08:37, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 08:22
Wow, what a great score. I figured you'd hit your target of 750+ with the posts you've made and your practice scores. I'm impressed that you're starting 2 years before you'll actually enroll!
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 08:37
PatrickBateman wrote:
It's done! Although I think I underperformed during the test, I'm not going to complain about a 760. My goal was to hit 750+ and I made it (by a hair).

Background:
I've always been a pretty strong test taker, so I knew that I could do well on the GMAT. After 1 week of prep, I took my first GMATPrep and hit 750. It is tempting to conclude that I could have gotten a good score had I taken the test right then and there. I don't think this is the case. Though my starting average was high, my standard deviation was also very high. For instance, I might have gotten 780 on a good day, and 680 on a bad day.

I booked my test and spent the next 5 weeks looking to minimize the standard deviation of my results. I wanted to go into the test confident that if I "bombed" the test, I would still walk away with a good score.

Going into the test, I knew that my "average" performance was around a Q50.5, V44. For instance, on a good day I might get Q51 V46, whereas on a bad day I might get a Q50 V42. Factor in a downwards adjustment for test-day nerves and jitters, and I figured that "worst case" performance would be around Q49 V40.


GMAT-eve

I do triathlons so I know how important proper nutrition is to long periods of strenuous activity. The night before the GMAT I had my traditional night-before-tri meal. A gigantic bowl of pasta, although really any sort of complex carbs will do. Got to bed with 10 hours of sleep planned but tossing and turning resulted in me only getting around 6.

The Test
Got to the test center about 1 hour early, and the test administrators allowed me to start early. I must say that the entire process was very professional.

AWA started off well, and I was confident that my first essay was a 6.0 response. The second AWA extremely tough. Then again, I only looked at one pair of AWA questions before the test, so I really have no idea what they are looking for.

Quant - well, this is where the trouble started. By the time I had gone through the first 3 questions, I had already burned 8 minutes. To top that off, I had to guess on the third question! I knew that the slow start most likely kicked me out of the Q51 band, but fought hard the rest of the way to maximize my score and get to the Q50 range. By the 30th question or so, questions were sufficiently tough that I knew I had recovered nicely.

Verbal - took a quick break, and sat back down for the verbal. During my prep I became so strong at CR and RC that I felt I could get any question they threw at me correct. In my GmatPrep, for instance, I routinely got all RC and CR correct. My strategy to get a high V score was to get all RC and CR and do "relatively well" on SC. Things were going well, but then I got this absolute beast of an RC passage.

I have dealt with long RC passages before and I know how to handle lengthy RCs. But this one was particularly tough to digest. I use the lengthy strategy to RC (I take notes), so I always burn a lot of time reading, but can then answer each question in under 30 seconds. Well, this passage took me 8 minutes to read and annotate. Then as I re-read my notes, panic started to set in. I had no idea what the passage was trying to say! I didn't even understand the main message, let alone all the inane details. I can see the clock continue to tick, so I just closed my eyes and relaxed for a few seconds. The fact that I kept my cool is what ended up saving me. I took it 1 question at a time, re-reading portions of the passage as I needed to. In the end I figure I may have gotten 3/5 of the questions, "disastrous" based on my strategy of getting perfect on RC and CR. By that point, I knew I was having a bad day. Nevertheless, I knew that I could still get a 750 on a bad day, so I just kept pushing through to the end.

After clicking on report scores, the 3-4 second delay felt like an eternity. Imagine my relief when the scores came up on the screen.


Next Steps

I plan on applying next fall for 2010 admission, or the year after that for 2011 admission. I'm really relieved that I can tick the GMAT off the list. Now I have the next 14 months or so to get my essays in order. :)

Study Log
I kept a detailed study log of what I did to prepare here: http://gmatclub.com/forum/8-t68965

Thanks for all the help over the past few weeks everybody!
Patrick.


Nice dude. Congrats. I hope to be giving a similar debrief in a week.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 08:51
Excellent progress and excellent end result. Good luck with your apps.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 09:19
Wahhh!! thats Great Score!!! Awsome Score..!!!
Congratulations!

Can you give suggestions how to improve RC and CR . What are your stragies to tackle them?
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 09:43
GREAT SCORE!!!

PS: But was obvious from your posts :)
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 11:24
Patrick,

What are your thoughts with how the MGMAT CATs compare to ACTUAL with respect to Q and V?

Also, do u feel that the V is now much harder, as discussed on this forum?
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 12:40
Awesome, congrats bro.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 14:30
x2suresh wrote:
Wahhh!! thats Great Score!!! Awsome Score..!!!
Congratulations!

Can you give suggestions how to improve RC and CR . What are your stragies to tackle them?


I take the long approach (I annotate while I read). At first I thought annotating was useless because I rarely refer back to my notes. However, just the act of notes helped me think in a logical manner.

Despite the fact that many others on the board feel that the MGMAT CR and RC guides are useless, I liked them. I think the key is not what system you use, per say, but that you have a system. The more you can systematically break down CR and RC, the more the answers will jump out at you.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 14:35
ryan987 wrote:
Patrick,

What are your thoughts with how the MGMAT CATs compare to ACTUAL with respect to Q and V?


MGMAT Q is harder, V is about right (although leaning on the easier side).

Some people set MGMAT CATs to 85 minutes or untimed since Q is so hard. Do not do this!
The biggest advantage of doing MGMAT CATs is getting used to the timing, not getting an accurate prediction of your score. The biggest thing I learned from MGMAT was how to maximize my score as I was running out of time on Q. Use MGMAT as time management training, use GmatPrep to gauge your preparedness.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 14:43
ryan987 wrote:
Also, do u feel that the V is now much harder, as discussed on this forum?



Let's set this up as a GMAT CR, for the sake of practice. :P

On the gmatclub.com message board, many members have been reporting lower than expected scores in the verbal portion of the GMAT exam. Board members claim that since such reports were rare before August, this must mean that the verbal portion of GMAT has gotten tougher and that Verbal scores are down across the board.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the conclusion relies?


a.) The ScoreTop scandal has skewed the verbal portion of the GMAT exam.
b.) Test takers are becoming increasingly adept at the verbal portion of the exam
c.) Before there was an outcry of changes in verbal scoring, people were just as likely to share their disappointing scores.
d.) A bug was introduced in the August software patch.
e.) Message board members usually score higher than GMAT test takers not on the message board.

:)
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 16:28
Wow, congrats! Awesome score!
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2008, 23:49
congrats great score!
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2008, 03:27
I believe he ran M&A at Pierce & Pierce. :wink:

mxb908 wrote:
Congrats! PB...
btw..about you...did you work for a german bank in NYC? from 2005 to 2007?
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2008, 11:01
good score congrats
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2008, 12:18
hmmm...still no official score.

starting to get a little worried about AWA
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2008, 12:24
oops, looks i got the mail 4 days ago (it got spam filtered).

I'm happy to report a 6.0 AWA :)

It's a bit of a relief because I just glanced over this section during my prep.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2009, 05:14
Congrats.. thanks for sharing your ideas
Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in 6 weeks   [#permalink] 01 Jan 2009, 05:14
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