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760 (Q51, V41, IR8, AWA 4.5) - GMAT experience

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760 (Q51, V41, IR8, AWA 4.5) - GMAT experience [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2013, 20:08
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I started my GMAT preparation in last week of July ’12, and targeted to take GMAT in first week of October ’12 with 2 months of preparation. Based on the result of diagnostic test and my experience from previous incomplete GMAT preparation in 2008/2009, I was aware that I needed additional help on verbal section. I have used Manhattan and Kaplan materials for verbal preparation in past but these have not helped in improving my score beyond 36. Having said this, Manhattan GMAT course materials are superior to most of the materials out there. My quant score in all the mock tests was in range of 47-50, so I decided to spend most of my time in verbal preparation.

On quick research on GMAT club website, I found e-Gmat and subscribed its online course. Within few weeks of preparation with e-Gmat course, I started seeing improvement in my sentence correction accuracy – which increased steadily from 50% to 85+%. In addition, this course was also very helpful in CR and RC sections.

After a month, I realized that I will not be able to take GMAT in first week of October as my preparation was detoured by an unplanned international trip; so I needed to re-plan to take the actual test in December. I was able to complete initial preparation with e-Gmat material by end of October, and I then focused on mock test for 6 weeks till the date of final GMAT. Initially I was satisfied to score 670-680 in first few mock tests, and hoped that I would soon cross 700. To my surprise, I was not able to cross 680 for next 3 weeks which worried me. I have to take final GMAT in next 3 weeks and I was far from my target score range of 750-780.

So I did some adjustment in my mock test environment (key to my final score):

1. Quiet Room - Made my room quieter, free of distractions; placed water / Gatorade next to my table; and took continuous test without unplanned breaks.

2. Timing – Decided to limit time spent on any question and continuously hit below targets:

Q Number (After Finishing) Math – Time Left Verbal – Time Left
10, 55 minutes, 56 minutes
20, 35 minutes, 37 minutes
30, 15 minutes, 19 minutes

I used above and other learning from following article to manage my timing: (refer attached document for link)

3. Visualizing success: Zeke Lee’s article (link below) on GMAT psychology and visualizing success helped tremendously to handle pressure and emotions (in addition to timing). (refer attached document for link)

Other article to push the score beyond 700+ : (refer attached document for link)

With above focus and changes, my mock test score shot beyond 700 and I continuously score 700+ in my later mock tests (with exception to 1 test). And scored 760 (Q51, V41) on the actual GMAT test.

My prep and final score were:

Practice Tests: Date, Q, V, Total
MGMAT 1, Nov 3 2012, 47, 34, 670
MGMAT 2, Nov 7 2012, 44, 36, 660
MGMAT 3, Nov 10 2012, 47, 35, 680
MGMAT 4, Nov 17 2012, 46, 31, 630
MGMAT 5, Nov 18 2012, 48, 35, 680
MGMAT 6, Nov 29 2012, 49, 38, 710
GMATPrep1, Dec 2 2012, 50, 29, 660
MGMAT 1A, Dec 4 2012, 51, 46, 780
GMATPrep2A, Dec 6 2012, 50, 39, 740
GMATPrep1A, Dec 9 2012, 51, 39, 740
GMATPrep 1B, Dec 13 2012, 50, 42, 760
GMATPrep 2B, Dec 16 2012, 51, 44, 770
MGMAT 2A, Dec 17 2012, 47, 40, 710
GMAT Test, Dec 19 2012, 51, 41, 760

Key Preparation points:

1. AWA – I scored 4.5 on AWA. I thought I did well on this section but scored low. I could not comprehend the reason at that time. During prep, I used MS-word grammar report and template as detailed in this article - (refer attached document for link). This worked well for most part of it.

Later after final GMAT, I noticed that there are grammatical errors that MS-word grammar report does not capture (particularly errors related to articles – a, an, the), but the GMAT-Write tool captures. I recommend GMAT-Write Tool to avoid any blind spots. Link to tool: (refer attached document for link)

2. IR: I scored 8 on IR. Given that this section in not yet valued enough, I prepared briefly from this link: (refer attached document for link) . I noticed that IR section is tough and I was not able to complete last 2-3 questions and had to guess on those. Though note that guessing on IT questions is much more error prone due to format of questions in this section. Also note that the MGMAT mock tests IR section are much more difficult than actual IR – I score in range of 3 to 5 in my mock tests – IR section.

3. Quant: If you are good / reasonably good at quant, then quickly review basic math from Manhattan GMAT materials. To score higher beyond 47, use MGMAT Advanced Quant book (amazon link - (refer attached document for link)) to prepare and religiously follow the timing techniques mentioned earlier.

4. Verbal: After completing Manhattan verbal books, I used e-GMAT online course extensively for the verbal section. I targeted for 100% accuracy in SC to achieve higher score in this section; and e-GMAT was helpful in pushing towards that. Given that 16-17 questions out of 41 questions in verbal section are SC questions and there are limited rules that GMAT can test, I understand achieving higher accuracy is key to overall high score in verbal.

e-GMAT makes the verbal section much more logical and understandable. This course removed much of guesswork that I earlier used in this section. I found the e-Gmat method of audio visual method with pre and post-tests after each concept much more helpful than just reading MGMAT books. This course helped me in pushing my verbal score from 35 (mock) to 41.

In addition to e-GMAT material, I used verbal prep material from gmat club verbal advantage section to understand tougher concepts. This is compendium of related articles on tougher verbal concepts (many of these articles are contributed by e-Gmat). Link - (refer attached document for link)

I hope this debrief of my GMAT experience is helpful.
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Status: Re- Working on GMAT
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41, IR8, AWA 4.5) - GMAT experience [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2013, 02:02
waoh amazing score.. but AWA of 4.5 could be problem (as colleges like/prefer balanced scores) but anyways all the best
what colleges are u targeting ?
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All men dream - but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity... But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.

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Re: 760 (Q51, V41, IR8, AWA 4.5) - GMAT experience [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2013, 08:17
Hi agoenka,

Thanks for taking out time to write such a detailed piece on your preps.

Similar to you, I am preparing through MGMAT SC & CR and have experienced significant improvement in my verbal. However, if need be, would like to try out e-Gmat to give it the final push and break the barrier of V40.

Accordingly, can you let me know which course did you take in e-Gmat to up the verbal score strictly(the objective is obviously to optimize my expenditure)? I have been focussing my energies in improving SC primarily. I am not sure whether e-Gmat can contribute to improving my scores in CR or RC. However, would like to know from you on this as in whether e-Gmat improved your CR & RC also?



Regards

Argha
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Concentration: Leadership, Strategy
GMAT 1: Q V
GMAT 2: 600 Q49 V23
GMAT 3: 760 Q51 V41
GMAT 4: Q V
GMAT 5: 760 Q51 V41
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41, IR8, AWA 4.5) - GMAT experience [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2013, 19:19
Yes I would also love to hear about e-GMAT CR and RC courses. I am taking the Sc course and I am amazed by it but have not read as much about the CR and RC courses. Am actually thinking about buying those as well but would love to know your views.
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41, IR8, AWA 4.5) - GMAT experience [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2013, 07:43
A few things stand out looking at your AWA analysis with the 'Readability Statistics' screen shot in your attached document. 332 words seems a bit light. Also, it shows only 1 paragraph - is this correct? Are you formatting your essay into the typical 5 paragraph structure? You should have an introduction, 3 topics, and a conclusion.

If you don't have it already, google 'AWA chineseburned' for a great template on how to ace the AWA.

4.5 isn't terrible, but if you plan on using a consultant to help you with your essays, the adcom might wonder how your essays are so polished with only a 4.5 AWA. I really wouldn't worry about this too much though. I recently went to an MBA tour event with a Q & A panel of adcoms from Columbia, MIT, and some other schools. Most adcom can tell when students use consultants because they see patterns in essays across all students - the consultants use the same techniques across all their clients, and it stands out.

The adcom said they really don't care about this. They just want genuine applicants who know their schools, who can explain their story well, and who know why they want an MBA at their target schools.

My gmat score pales in comparison to yours, but I've scored 5.5 in AWA both times I took it. I'm also a native english speaker.
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41, IR8, AWA 4.5) - GMAT experience [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2014, 00:35
Can someone please tell me what Q51 means. How is Q51 calculated.
Re: 760 (Q51, V41, IR8, AWA 4.5) - GMAT experience   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2014, 00:35
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