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760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month

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760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2010, 11:41
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Dear forum,
just came back on campus after taking the GMAT. Here is the story of my preparation. Hope someone will find it useful.

Background:
Bulgarian,
Last year of BSc in Physics at an international university in Germany.

Materials:
Princeton Crack the GMAT edition 2009 + 4 online tests
OG Verbal Review
GMATprep

The preparation:
I started about 2 months ago with going over the quant chapters of the Princeton book. However at that time I was more concerned with doing research for my thesis so I ditched the preparation for a month.
27.02 Did the diagnostic test in Princeton - said my current score is above 550 (thank you Dr. Obvious)
28.02 GMAT Prep test 1 - 730 (don't remember the breakdown). At this point I had no idea how I scored that high since the verbal part I was guessing a lot and flagged 15 questions for review (all of them turned to be correct)
For a week I did nothing - wrote some applications, worked on my thesis
14.03 Princeton Online 1 - 610 (Q39, V36) This score scared me because I did not know that it is normal to score much lower on the Princeton tests. I thought the questions were pretty easy and as it turned out I did out of the first 5 wrong in both sections which assured easy questions for the rest of the test (I guess they should improve their algorithm). As I was freaking out at this point I finished the Princeton Book and did the Question pools (all in timed environment)
20.03 Princeton online 2 - 690 (Q50, V36). Apparently working on verbal improved my quant skills.
21.03 Princeton online 3 - 690 (Q50, V36). Not much improvement on a day to day basis.
4 midterm exams and 2 tests from GMAT for Dummies (the latter being very easy - average time per question for both sections < 50 sec. )
25.03 Princeton online 4 - 700 (Q50, V37) With 3 days to go I decided to finally focus and I did the OG Verbal Review for 2 days as well as some Data Sufficiency from OG 11th edition
28.03 GMAT Prep test 2 - 770 (Q50, V44) This score gave me some confidence so I decided to do the review questions from the GMAT prep. On the train to city where I sat the test I prepared my templates for the essays. Walked the way from my hotel to the test center. Watched a movie went to bed at 23:00

29.03 The GMAT - 760 (Q50, V42)
Woke up at 9:00. Had a solid breakfast
Had an appointment at 12:30 but I started about an hour earlier.
Totally **** up the Analysis of Argument (wrote less than 300 words and had no time for proof reading).
The Analysis of an Issue went OK considering the last time I have written an essay was the SAT's in 2007.
Took a break, drank water, ate some nuts.
Quant - started fine but the questions got way harder than what I had in the GMATPrep - there was one I spent 6 min on and still got it wrong (I guess since it took me 30 sec to solve the next one). Overall the questions were definitely harder than in the GMATprep
Took a break, drank water, ate some nuts.
Verbal - went as usual. Had 10 questions where I got to 2 possible answers and guessed (got half of them right I assume)

Q and V Note - I consider this very important for all future test takes. The questions on the actual test were if not harder, then definitely way more time consuming than what I have seen in GMATprep. During my preparation my average time per section was around 50 min. On the actual test I took 71 for the quant and 70 for the verbal.

Now I have to pray I will do well on my thesis and graduate this semester because even if I don't get anywhere such a score will hopefully get me a place next year.
Cheers and good luck all,
Ivan
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2010, 11:50
Congratulations for your 760. Good luck for future. Seeing your debrief , GMAT is looking sooo easy :-D
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2010, 13:35
Congrats.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2010, 14:00
Good advice to note -- really focused prep and time management is the way to go!
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2010, 15:28
Thank you all.
As @abhattac5 stated good focus is crucial. Most of the people with working experience have probably forgotten how to study "the night before". I don't mean it literally but I believe that dedicating a full week before the exam to full time preparation is as effective as a month of normal studying. It makes your brain click in the GMAT way - sort of. And that is the important part - unless you aim to obtain long term knowledge.
To @msand - compared to choosing school, finding references and writing essays I consider the GMAT to be the easiest part of the application process.

P.S. Any suggestions how to utilize a gap year in the best possible way. I want to get some experience but its a bit too late for graduate trainee programs - probably will start a new topic about that.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2010, 16:30
Congratz on the great score.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2010, 17:10
Congratulations!!
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2010, 22:18
good score, congratulations !!!!
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2010, 11:49
great score... Congrats !

Thanks for the tips !!
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 01:56
Congrats. All the best.
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 11:53
Congrats... Gr8 show
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 21:11
Congrats !....
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2010, 02:04
Good job!
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2010, 08:24
Nice.. n congrats.. :-D
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Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2010, 17:13
amazing score! good luck for your thesis!
Re: 760 (Q50, V42) in less than a month   [#permalink] 14 Apr 2010, 17:13
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