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770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic!

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770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2013, 02:45
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Got done with the GMAT and I think I couldn't have asked for more. I can't just stop being happy with my scores
Overall: 770
Quant: 51
Verbal:44

Background : I’m a native speaker and currently work with an equity research fund as an analyst on the east coast. I plan to work in Europe for sometime post MBA and INSEAD is my primary target and LBS,IMD are the other schools I'll be applying to. I speak French and Spanish apart from English and I love the French culture so want to live and experience the European way of life for a couple of years and then decide whether I want to move back. I don't plan to get into a hardcore finance role post MBA though I'm open to do financial consulting.

Prep strategy : I prepared for around 4 months in all...Started my prep in October end and joined beatthegmat and gmatclub in first week of November. At one point of time, my addiction grew so much that I had set a goal for myself to visit the forums only once in 3 days. But I think that the credit for this score in part goes to these forums only as I learnt everything about the GMAT,preparation strategy etc from here.

Anyway,what I learnt early on from the forums here is that building a strong conceptual base should be the first target so I kept the first two months for theory and the last one month for intensive practice.

For Verbal, I primarily relied on the Grail series from Aristotle prep. The Grail series is very exhaustive both in theory and practice.I had other books too but didn’t refer to them much. Manhattan SC was helpful too but didn't find Manhattan CR and RC useful.

I’ve done my undergrad major in finance so the GMAT Math didn’t seem very difficult. Saying that it was a cakewalk would be going too far but yes I was able to handle Quant better. For higher difficulty level, I referred MGMAT Advanced Quant Guide and for practice PS and DS boosters rounded up my studies.

Testing Experience : The test day experience was smooth. There were around 8-10 people in my slot. I had a redbull and some cookies during the breaks. Got a little nervous at the beginning of the Quant section and ended up doing some calculations again. Took a deep breath after a couple of questions, told myself everything will be okay and then plunged ahead.

In the verbal section, the RCs were quite dense and boring. Some of the options were close and I really ended up changing the options a couple of times before moving on to the next question.

Overall, I felt that I did well and was expecting around 730-740. It was a long pause after clicking on "Report score" and then I couldn't just stop smiling looking at the computer screen.

I know many people would have secured this score in the past and I'm not the first one to get this score yet it feels very special. More than anything else, I feel glad that I won't have to take the test again because frankly speaking for the last 3 months, I have prepared with a lot of focus and to go through the grind again would have been a little difficult.

My $0.02

a) Take around 8-10 practice tests: Use MGMAT and GMATPREPs
b) Take the GMAT early. It helps-I'm planning to apply for Fall 2014 intake and the deadlines of schools are far away. I could have prepared later but hey when I can do it on time, so why procrastinate.Now I have sufficient time to work on the other equally important aspects of the application.
c) Have a plan for yourself and write it down- I think we stick more to our goals if we have a plan for us otherwise the plan just goes out of the window-this is something that I learnt from my job as we need to be very disciplined to meet our targets. On MTW,I focused on sentence correction, ThuFri, I did CR and Sat, I did RC . This helped me stay in touch with the topics every week and also helped ensure that I stick to the goals I have set for myself

d) Conceptual Clarity comes first and then comes practice- One of the instructors here had posted this on the forums long back and this advice really helped me. I think unless you don't have a strong command over the concepts, practicing would be futile.So focusing on understanding concepts, patterns should be your priority. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't practice while learning concepts. You should do practice questions but the focus should still be on understanding the application of the theory.

Thanks a lot to the awesome participants and instructors on the forums. I look forward to keeping you guys posted about my journey post-GMAT!
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2013, 17:52
Congratulations on the jaw-dropping score, Fred! Great debrief, too...

Quote:
focusing on understanding concepts, patterns should be your priority. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't practice while learning concepts. You should do practice questions but the focus should still be on understanding the application of the theory.


Amen!

Quote:
Take the GMAT early. It helps-I'm planning to apply for Fall 2014 intake and the deadlines of schools are far away. I could have prepared later but hey when I can do it on time, so why procrastinate.Now I have sufficient time to work on the other equally important aspects of the application.


Yes, definitely! Tons of people start studying for the GMAT in the summer or fall, and then stuff happens and they end up being very seriously miserable right before the deadlines. It's brilliant that you're so far ahead of the game, and it's going to be really easy for you to be perfectly prepared for first-round deadlines.


Good luck with your applications, Fred! Even though I don't think you'll need luck--it sounds like you have your act together. Have a great time in business school, it's clear that you'll be attending one of the best. Congratulations again!
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 10:24
FredT,

that's an amazing score! Regarding your main piece of advice I have one question, namely when did you practice what kind of questions? I have a problem especially with MGMAT, as (as you know) they list OG problems chapterwise. Did you do only the chapter drill sets and leave the OG problems for the time you had covered all sections or how did you handle this?

Thanks! And Good Luck with your apps!
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2013, 22:09
@GMATNinja
Thank you for the appreciation and encouragement.

bgpower wrote:
FredT,

that's an amazing score! Regarding your main piece of advice I have one question, namely when did you practice what kind of questions? I have a problem especially with MGMAT, as (as you know) they list OG problems chapterwise. Did you do only the chapter drill sets and leave the OG problems for the time you had covered all sections or how did you handle this?

Thanks! And Good Luck with your apps!

Yeah, that's a problem with MGMAT SC that you will end up using the OG questions while learning the concepts. I think that OG questions are very valuable and should be used wisely. That's why I referred SC Grail 3rd ed as it provides 125 practice questions and I did those topicwise as I moved through each concept in the book
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2013, 03:08
Congrats...how many inequalities questions did you get? And how did you prepare for this topic ?
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2013, 09:39
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Whoa, congratulations on the phenomenal score!
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2013, 02:50
FuzzyLogic wrote:
Congrats...how many inequalities questions did you get? And how did you prepare for this topic ?


Till Fred answers the question, I can answer it for you though I didn't do well on the GMAT and am considering a retake. I saw 3-4 inequalities questions if i remember correctly and i think they were not simple; they were tricky
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2013, 23:39
Aaron200 wrote:
FuzzyLogic wrote:
Congrats...how many inequalities questions did you get? And how did you prepare for this topic ?


Till Fred answers the question, I can answer it for you though I didn't do well on the GMAT and am considering a retake. I saw 3-4 inequalities questions if i remember correctly and i think they were not simple; they were tricky

Thank you. I find inequalities questions difficult to solve..Seems like I will have to work on this area.
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2013, 00:28
Whoa! Amazing score. I liked your strategy and the clarity you had while preparing..how were the critical reasoning questions on the GMAT ? And do you use diagrammatic approach ?
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2013, 01:46
Haven't seen many natives with a Q51. Congratulations on the great score!
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2013, 22:19
Fred,
Congrats on the great score. I understand that you are a native speaker that's why you have been able to do well on verbal..what do you think non-native speakers should do to do well on verbal...i'm really struggling with verbal part and need inputs.
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2013, 01:09
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Aaron200 wrote:
Fred,
Congrats on the great score. I understand that you are a native speaker that's why you have been able to do well on verbal..what do you think non-native speakers should do to do well on verbal...i'm really struggling with verbal part and need inputs.


Firstly forget the part about being non-native and native. Enough non-natives do well on verbal that you shouldn't be disappointed.. There's no magic pill. It's just a combination of same two three things- hardwork, right books, right approach and perseverance. And I can say so because I too hadn't done well on my first attempt so stick to your guns! :)
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 06 May 2013, 22:21
russianaspirant wrote:
Whoa! Amazing score. I liked your strategy and the clarity you had while preparing..how were the critical reasoning questions on the GMAT ? And do you use diagrammatic approach ?

I didn't use diagrammatic approach for CR. Though MGMAT CR book preached it but it was simply not for me.
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 21 May 2013, 21:37
FredT wrote:

My $0.02

a) Take around 8-10 practice tests: Use MGMAT and GMATPREPs
b) Take the GMAT early. It helps-I'm planning to apply for Fall 2014 intake and the deadlines of schools are far away. I could have prepared later but hey when I can do it on time, so why procrastinate.Now I have sufficient time to work on the other equally important aspects of the application.
c) Have a plan for yourself and write it down- I think we stick more to our goals if we have a plan for us otherwise the plan just goes out of the window-this is something that I learnt from my job as we need to be very disciplined to meet our targets. On MTW,I focused on sentence correction, ThuFri, I did CR and Sat, I did RC . This helped me stay in touch with the topics every week and also helped ensure that I stick to the goals I have set for myself

d) Conceptual Clarity comes first and then comes practice- One of the instructors here had posted this on the forums long back and this advice really helped me. I think unless you don't have a strong command over the concepts, practicing would be futile.So focusing on understanding concepts, patterns should be your priority. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't practice while learning concepts. You should do practice questions but the focus should still be on understanding the application of the theory.

Thanks a lot to the awesome participants and instructors on the forums. I look forward to keeping you guys posted about my journey post-GMAT!


Very awesome points..I liked your second point.Although I was planning to take the GMAT early too but it just got delayed. I hope that I am able to finish it on time now. By the way, how many hours do you recommend studying ?I'm not targeting a 770 like yours but just a 720 or 730 ...
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 29 May 2013, 22:22
Hey Fred,

Congrats on a wonderful score.....

I am planning to give my GMAT in the next 2 weeks. Have given a couple of tests. My scores have been:
MGMAT1: 660 (Q46, V34)
Kaplan GMAT 690 (Dont remember the breakup).


Any tips/suggestions on how best to maximize my score on the T-day?

Thanks and congrats once again.
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2013, 02:21
Congratulations on your great score and all the best for applications! God Bless!
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2013, 03:43
congrats for your score..all the best for ur applications
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2013, 23:44
bhaskardkulkarni2 wrote:
Hey Fred,

Congrats on a wonderful score.....

I am planning to give my GMAT in the next 2 weeks. Have given a couple of tests. My scores have been:
MGMAT1: 660 (Q46, V34)
Kaplan GMAT 690 (Dont remember the breakup).


Any tips/suggestions on how best to maximize my score on the T-day?

Thanks and congrats once again.


Whats your target score ? Don't pay too much attention to the quant score on MGMAT. MGMAT Quant is very difficult so even if you got a 46 on MGMAT Quant, it would be equivalent to 48-49 on the actual GMAT
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2013, 21:50
Congratulations Fred..Can you let me know how did you do practice for Math ? The questions in the official guide are very easy and i don't think they are representative of GMAT Quant questions.
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Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic! [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2013, 01:06
westcoastgmatter wrote:
Congratulations Fred..Can you let me know how did you do practice for Math ? The questions in the official guide are very easy and i don't think they are representative of GMAT Quant questions.


The last 50 questions in quant are good in OG. Apart from that you can practice quant questions from GMATCLUB tests or from aristotle ps and ds boosters
Re: 770(Q-51,V-44)- Conceptual Clarity + Practice did the Magic!   [#permalink] 20 Aug 2013, 01:06
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