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At long last, Supercat Scores!

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At long last, Supercat Scores! [#permalink] New post 05 May 2005, 12:31
Finally took my GMAT this morning! I had begun to prepare for it back in '94, but lost interest. Then did quite a bit of studying again in 1997, but had such complete insomnia the night before that I no-showed and ate the cost. Then ramped up a bit in 2002, but got too busy at work and dropped the effort again.


Now, finally, it's done! Here are the results:

Total: 760 (99%)
Verbal: 46 (99%)
Math: 49 (90%)

You might be curious as to how this compared to my preparation. Unlike a lot of people, I did slightly better in practice on the PowerPreps and on my miscellaneous old actual disclosed GMATs than I did today. I'm rather disappointed that I got "only" a 46 verbal, my lowest score ever on an actual ETS verbal section (and I don't understand it: I felt like I was nailing the verbal today).

Source of test ........ Total ... Quant ... Verbal

Princeton CAT........... 740 ...... 46 ...... 47
Off Guide v.8, test C.. 760 ...... 46 ...... 50
Kaplan CAT................640
PowerPrep CAT ......... 770........48........49
Princeton Online CAT...690
Disclosed GMAT, 1997...780.......50.......49
PowerPrep CAT 2 ........ 770 ......49 ..... 49
Disclosed GMAT, # 52... 780 .....43 ...... 48

The one that counts ....... 760 ..... 49......46

Super :twisted:
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 [#permalink] New post 05 May 2005, 13:05
Congratulation Supercat! Wished we had you here much earlier as member :wink: Good luck with your applications now.
_________________

Best Regards,

Paul

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 [#permalink] New post 05 May 2005, 14:23
Congrats and goodluck :lol:
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 04:57
Many congratulations. Please share your preparation and the experience on the test day.

Thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 08:24
OK Biren.

Preparation:
-I did the standard Princeton Review and Kaplan books & disks.

- Additionally, I read the Kaplan books VERBAL WORKOUT and GRE & GMAT MATH WORKOUT. I also read the Kaplan 800 GMAT.

- From my earlier attempts, I have two older 1990's versions of the ETS Official Guide from the paper test era that I studied. They were helpul in that each contained 3 actual GMATs. (I never did acquire the latest version, it was out of stock, even on Amazon.com). From GMAC I purchased one set of three disclosed actual GMATs, and had one more real GMAT that a friend took in 1997, and of course used Powerprep software.

- I did NOT take all the practice tests available to me. I didn't do all my ETS tests because I ran out of time. I quit doing Kaplan and Princeton Review Tests a couple weeks ago.

- And for Essay practice, I found a very helpful old book in a used bookstore, Arco's "GMAT CAT Answers to the Real Essay Questions". It's from 1998, but still perfectly valid. Arco gives essay responses to every single GMAT essay question, and it appears there's been no change in that list of questions. I would not have spent much time preparing for the essays, but this was great. Read 30 or 40 samples and it's imprinted into your brain just how a good GMAT Essay would look, no need for templates or other preparation. (I'll be shocked if I don't get a 6 on my score report).

- A couple of things I did on my own that were most helpful. I made a growing practice quiz of representative math problems that I would go over every day or two. Both as a warm-up, and to be sure I didn't forget how to do such problems.

- I made a two-column list of math concepts in a notebook that I wanted to keep ready in my mind. The idea was, if I see something, I should be thinking something in reponse. For example:

---SEE THIS----------------------------THINK THIS:

X is a factor of Z....................... Z is a multiple of X

2XY = Y.................................... Y might be zero!

radical-X .................................. = X / radical-X


...you know, the basic insights upon which so many tricky GMAT questions hinge.

Criticisms:
By far the most valuable prep materials were the ETS products. It was NOT worthwhile to use the Kaplan Verbal Workout or 800 GMAT books -- they just didn't add much. The Kaplan Math Workout book was probably worthwhile, in ensuring I was covering all bases.

The Kaplan 800 GMAT: in the verbal sections it tries to give "hard" questions by giving ambigous, incorrect, and poorly written questions. Just not at all representative of actual ETS questions. Nor did the math sections offer much I hadn't seen before. Mostly this book is just an excuse to constantly have bullets saying, "The 800 GMAT Scorer does blah blah blah", regurgitating Kaplan's standard advice.

I came to have a dim view of the Princeton Review and Kaplan practice tests. Princeton and Kaplan are frankly poor test-writers, and their editorial processes and test question vetting are clearly very lame compared with those at ETS. Taking their tests mostly just got me annoyed at the mistakes they would make. It's OK to take their tests for the mental practice, I suppose, but you'll waste time on non-representative questions, wrong "correct" answers, poor and incorrect explanations, math problems that require far too much calculation than ETS would expect, etc. To be blunt, I would wager that the editorial staff and Kaplan and Princeton are not themselves partcularly high scorers.

I saw a smart 790-scorer on this board mention that he often disagreed with the logic on Kaplan and Princeton answer choice explanations. That must have been a polite way of him saying, they screwed up and he was smart enough to know it.

If doing it all over again, I'd focus more heavily on ETS materials. I'd scrounge up every actual GMAT question I could (I didn't realize until a week ago that you can buy 3 sets of 3 actual GMATS for $25 per set on MBA.com). Buy an older version of the official guide in a used book store. I fact, I'd probably look at official GRE and SAT materials also, in order to chase down as many "official" twists and turns on math problems as possible.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 08:45
Supercat wrote:
OK Biren.

Preparation:
-I did the standard Princeton Review and Kaplan books & disks.

- Additionally, I read the Kaplan books VERBAL WORKOUT and GRE & GMAT MATH WORKOUT. I also read the Kaplan 800 GMAT.

- From my earlier attempts, I have two older 1990's versions of the ETS Official Guide from the paper test era that I studied. They were helpul in that each contained 3 actual GMATs. (I never did acquire the latest version, it was out of stock, even on Amazon.com). From GMAC I purchased one set of three disclosed actual GMATs, and had one more real GMAT that a friend took in 1997, and of course used Powerprep software.

- I did NOT take all the practice tests available to me. I didn't do all my ETS tests because I ran out of time. I quit doing Kaplan and Princeton Review Tests a couple weeks ago.

- And for Essay practice, I found a very helpful old book in a used bookstore, Arco's "GMAT CAT Answers to the Real Essay Questions". It's from 1998, but still perfectly valid. Arco gives essay responses to every single GMAT essay question, and it appears there's been no change in that list of questions. I would not have spent much time preparing for the essays, but this was great. Read 30 or 40 samples and it's imprinted into your brain just how a good GMAT Essay would look, no need for templates or other preparation. (I'll be shocked if I don't get a 6 on my score report).

- A couple of things I did on my own that were most helpful. I made a growing practice quiz of representative math problems that I would go over every day or two. Both as a warm-up, and to be sure I didn't forget how to do such problems.

- I made a two-column list of math concepts in a notebook that I wanted to keep ready in my mind. The idea was, if I see something, I should be thinking something in reponse. For example:

---SEE THIS----------------------------THINK THIS:

X is a factor of Z....................... Z is a multiple of X

2XY = Y.................................... Y might be zero!

radical-X .................................. = X / radical-X


...you know, the basic insights upon which so many tricky GMAT questions hinge.

Criticisms:
By far the most valuable prep materials were the ETS products. It was NOT worthwhile to use the Kaplan Verbal Workout or 800 GMAT books -- they just didn't add much. The Kaplan Math Workout book was probably worthwhile, in ensuring I was covering all bases.

The Kaplan 800 GMAT: in the verbal sections it tries to give "hard" questions by giving ambigous, incorrect, and poorly written questions. Just not at all representative of actual ETS questions. Nor did the math sections offer much I hadn't seen before. Mostly this book is just an excuse to constantly have bullets saying, "The 800 GMAT Scorer does blah blah blah", regurgitating Kaplan's standard advice.

I came to have a dim view of the Princeton Review and Kaplan practice tests. Princeton and Kaplan are frankly poor test-writers, and their editorial processes and test question vetting are clearly very lame compared with those at ETS. Taking their tests mostly just got me annoyed at the mistakes they would make. It's OK to take their tests for the mental practice, I suppose, but you'll waste time on non-representative questions, wrong "correct" answers, poor and incorrect explanations, math problems that require far too much calculation than ETS would expect, etc. To be blunt, I would wager that the editorial staff and Kaplan and Princeton are not themselves partcularly high scorers.

I saw a smart 790-scorer on this board mention that he often disagreed with the logic on Kaplan and Princeton answer choice explanations. That must have been a polite way of him saying, they screwed up and he was smart enough to know it.

If doing it all over again, I'd focus more heavily on ETS materials. I'd scrounge up every actual GMAT question I could (I didn't realize until a week ago that you can buy 3 sets of 3 actual GMATS for $25 per set on MBA.com). Buy an older version of the official guide in a used book store. I fact, I'd probably look at official GRE and SAT materials also, in order to chase down as many "official" twists and turns on math problems as possible.


How many tests does each set contain(ETS)? Please let me know

Thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 11:08
Hi supercat,

could you please tell me if you got all 3 of the paper tests for $25 or each for $25? Thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 11:35
Great score...congrats!....

and best of luck for your future endaevors....when and to which schools are you planning to apply?

cheers
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 12:13
Folaa3 wrote:
Hi supercat,

could you please tell me if you got all 3 of the paper tests for $25 or each for $25? Thanks



At the mba.com store, it's $25 total for a whole set that includes 3 tests. And there are three differents sets of tests available to purchase. So if you bought them all, you'd pay $75 total and receive 9 tests. Sounds like a word problem!

http://www.mba.com/mba/Store
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 12:34
Congrats SuperCat.

I went through 2/3 SC's where in you had given answers and explanations.
I was very sure that you are a V 45+ material like Paul is.
Excellent work.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 14:51
Congratulations Supercat!! Awsome Score... :beer

Good Luck for ur future endeavors..

How did you time urself in actual test?
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 16:09
jpv wrote:
Congratulations Supercat!! Awsome Score... :beer

Good Luck for ur future endeavors..

How did you time urself in actual test?



I didn't pay much attention to time, other than checking about every 20 minutes to be sure I wasn't getting in trouble. From the preparation I knew that time wasn't a real problem for me -- I always tended to have a few minutes left over on at the end of each section.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 19:22
Congrats Supercat! Obviously you were ready for this a long time ago. Frankly, I am more curious as to why you waited 10 years. I know this may be too much to ask, but would you happen to have your "math concepts" in a word or any other doc to share with us? Sometimes I think the "tricks" are what truly make the difference. If they are already here at the club, please let me know. Thank you and all the best.

Last edited by sastal on 08 May 2005, 00:42, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 19:54
BTW Congratulations on an excellent score....Wishing you the best in all your future efforts
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Re: At long last, Supercat Scores! [#permalink] New post 06 May 2005, 21:16
Supercat (:twisted:),
It is just known that you are super, you have proved to be super. from few of your SC posts, you have proved yourselt. your explanatios were undoubtly super. i am really impressed.

If possible, pls do continue to participate in this forum.

Congratulations for excellent score.

all the best for your application process.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 May 2005, 08:56
sastal wrote:
Congrats Supercat! Obviously you were ready for this a long time ago. Frankly, I am more curious as to why you waited 10 years. I know this may be too much to ask, but would you happen to have your "math concepts" in a word doc to share with us? Sometimes I think the "tricks" are what truly make the difference. If they are already here at the club, please let me know. Thank you and all the best.


Ha, as for why I waited, it's just that life gets in the way; I got caught up in several moves and career changes, and have waffled between thinking I wanted an MBA and thinking I didn't need any further education. Even now I'm unsure, but I recently decided to quit my job and take a couple months off, then it occurred to me this would be a perfect time to devote a month to refreshing my studies and getting it done.

I don't at the moment have the list of math concepts in Word, but I'm not averse to doing that. My hesitation is that it seems cumbersome to use math notation in MS Word. Does anyone know of a plug-in or something that facilitates that?
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Prep Help... [#permalink] New post 08 May 2005, 09:31
I really like your idea of writing down the math concepts in 2 columns and training yourself what to think when seeing certain GMAT concepts. Is there anyway you could share more of your insights on this? I would like to copy them down and use them for my prep!

THANKS!
J



Supercat wrote:
OK Biren.

Preparation:

- A couple of things I did on my own that were most helpful. I made a growing practice quiz of representative math problems that I would go over every day or two. Both as a warm-up, and to be sure I didn't forget how to do such problems.

- I made a two-column list of math concepts in a notebook that I wanted to keep ready in my mind. The idea was, if I see something, I should be thinking something in reponse. For example:

---SEE THIS----------------------------THINK THIS:

X is a factor of Z....................... Z is a multiple of X

2XY = Y.................................... Y might be zero!

radical-X .................................. = X / radical-X


...you know, the basic insights upon which so many tricky GMAT questions hinge.

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Official Score in [#permalink] New post 17 May 2005, 12:05
Got my official score in the mail today. In addition to confirming the computer score, it tells me I aced the AWA essays with a 6.0.

I strongly urge anyone interested in the AWA score to get on Amazon and buy a used copy of Arco's GMAT CAT -- ANSWERS TO THE REAL ESSAY QUESTIONS.

Just as the title suggests, they use the actual pool of essay questions from GMAC, and provide essays responses for all of them. Read a bunch of these. Not to try to memorize or plagiarize, but to impress into your brain what a good essay looks like, the rythm, the flow, the length, the structure, etc.

Test-preppers always avocate that you develop a template. In my opinion, you read a couple dozen of these essays, and all the template you'll ever need will be inside you head, and the essays should be a piece of cake.
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Re: Official Score in [#permalink] New post 18 May 2005, 05:22
congratulations supercat for your super gmat score. 6 in essay is marvelous. i am hurring to grb it. thax for your suggestions.
goodluck...............
Supercat wrote:
I aced the AWA essays with a 6.0.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2005, 09:01
Congrats & thanx Supercat!
  [#permalink] 13 Jun 2005, 09:01
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