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Debrief - 660 (Q47, V34), really disappointed

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Debrief - 660 (Q47, V34), really disappointed [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2012, 06:32
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Hi,
I've joined this forum not so long ago and I found an inspiring and contributing community. I would like to share with you my GMAT experience so far - my studies, my test and score and finally my next steps. This is sort of a mesh-up between a debrief and a "GMAT experience" thread.
I would really like to hear your thoughts as I'm considering how to prepare for the next time, and I'm really not sure about it.

Background Information
I'm an engineer (MS.c) from Israel, graduated about a year ago. Always been great with math and quite good in my English skills. I'm working at my field of studies and have a total of 6-7 years of experience (worked both during and before my bachelor degree). I'm aiming at getting into an MBA in the US, at one of the top-10 universities (MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, Wharton...).

Materials Used
As I began thinking about taking the GMAT, I immediately got to the conclusion that I should avoid a normal "in class" courses. Usually this classes (when relating to teaching a class toward and exam like the GMAT or SAT) hold many kinds of students, some of them are weaker and some are stronger. I usually find myself at the top of the class, getting bored pretty quick, and with the feeling that I'm wasting my time sitting and hearing explanations about things I already understand. For this reason I've decided to take an online course which will allow me to advance on my own tempo, and really put emphasis on the things I find more difficult to me. I've searched several courses and decided to go with MasterGMAT. You can read my detailed review of the course here.
During the lkast two weeks I ran out of tests, so I purchased the kindle version of Manhattan GMAT "Word Problems" ($11) and got 6 of their tests with it. Didn't actually used the book.

Duration
I studied for 4 months in total. usually had 4-5 hours during weekdays, and 4-5 hours on weekends.

General Strategy
The Master GMAT course pretty layout for me the advancement, based on my success or failures on exercises I answered. I felt that it was nice and fit. The only topic in which I felt weak was combinations and permutations, and so I've searched the forums here, and sat to solve about 30-40 questions on this topic alone until I got it going well.

Tests
The first thing I did was to take a test of GMATPrep, to see where I'm standing before I even started the learning. I scored 660 (Q47, V34).
the rest of the tests I took on the last two weeks before the tests. Please note that Master GMAT tests give you a range of scores, not a specific number.
Here are the rest of the scores.:
MG (Master GMAT) test 1 - 690-730, (Q48-50, V38-41)
MG test 2 - 690-720, (Q47-49, V39-41)
MG test 3 - 710-750, (Q49-50, V40-44)
CATPrep 1 - 620, Q51, V24 - I felt that the verbal was extremely difficult, way beyond my scope.
CATPrep 2 - 680, Q50, V33 - Same as above.
Manhattan 1 - 720, Q47, V41
GMATPrep 1 -720, Q50, V41
GMATPrep 1 -690, Q49, V35 - Again, felt that the SC were more complicated that what I got used to.
Manhattan 2 - 720, Q45, V42
Manhattan 3 - 680, Q47, V35 - Took it one day before the exam. Big mistake.

My quant' was strong all the way through (around 48-49) , even on MGMAT (which are known to have tough questions).
My verbal felt nice (39-40), but after taking the CATPrep and the GMATPrep, I have started wondering whether my results on MasterGMAT were not real.

My Test Experience
I've reached the test center at 8AM, after waking up around 5:30AM. I did some easy exercises on the way, just to get the wheels running. I also repeated my essays template so I could easily use it afterwards. I admit of being a bit nervous, more than the usual. Tests do not seem to stress me , though. I began the test around 8:30AM.
AWA - this section went quite well, even better than I have expected. The topics were not so hard to deal with, and I felt confident about what I write down. I scored 6.0.
Quant - Midway through the section, I've noticed that I'm exactly on the timings. I was used to finishing this section about 5 minutes ahead of time, and it surprised me to find out I'm not doing it on the actual test. Few of the questions took me longer than what I've expected, and I even guessed 2-3 of them.
Eventually I scored 47.
Verbal - I felt that the SC were more challenging than what I got used to. Some of them dealt with idioms I didn't meet before or wasn't sure on how to use them. 2 reading comprehensions (out of 4) were also more complicated that the usual. I scored 34, about 4-6 points lower than my usual score.

My final score is 660, which is really disappointing. IT IS THE SAME SCORE I had before I've even started learning to the GMAT!!
I expected something around 710-730, and would have never guessed that my verbal will be that low (or that I will score 6.0 on the AWA).
I'm not sure how to tackle this and what should I do different next time. I'm thinking about getting one of the recommended SC books.
If you have any advice, I'll be glad to hear it.

Last edited by FuzzyBuzzard on 15 Feb 2012, 11:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Debrief - 660 (Q47, V34), really disappointed [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2012, 09:38
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Hang in there FuzzyBuzzard. I am on the same boat as you are. I took the GMAT last week and scored 680 (47/36). I am definitely retaking the test in 2 months time (we are expecting our second baby next month so I cannot retake next month). My experience is quite similar to yours. I felt that SC is the hardest part. I did not make much improvement on SC after 3 months of preparation. I am going to try e-GMAT as I heard some very good things about them. Their SC course only costs $70. So I will look into it. They have some free videos available, so I suggest you check them out and see if you feel like buying the complete course will help you.

Not sure where you are with CR, but if you want to improve your CR, there is only one book you will ever need. PowerScore CR Bible is the way to go. I got this book 25 days before my test and only went through first 6 chapters. It improved my CR so much I get ALL my CR right in most practice tests. I believe even in my actual GMAT I probably got all my CR right.

Looks like your quant is already good, so do some GMATClub questions and maybe you can bump your quant to 48 or more.

Good luck and keep me posted....
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You can see from the number of "Kudos Given" on my profile that I am generous while giving Kudos. Is it too much to ask for a similar favor???

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Re: Debrief - 660 (Q47, V34), really disappointed [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2012, 10:57
Kudos for your unbiased review of Master GMAT. Very well written and articulated. I just want to confirm one thing: Your GMAT score before you started learning and on your actual exam was exactly the same. Is that correct? Seemed very odd to me.

Also, does Master GMAT have theory lessons like Knewton does.
Current Student
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Status: Duke!
Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 132
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V38
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 40 [0], given: 10

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: Debrief - 660 (Q47, V34), really disappointed [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2012, 11:04
sprusty wrote:
Kudos for your unbiased review of Master GMAT. Very well written and articulated. I just want to confirm one thing: Your GMAT score before you started learning and on your actual exam was exactly the same. Is that correct? Seemed very odd to me.

Also, does Master GMAT have theory lessons like Knewton does.


Thank you for your Kudos :!:
You are correct - I scored the same score I did on my initial test, the one which I took before starting this whole journey. This is the reason my heading goes "very disappointed", as I've reached higher score (Q51, V42, Total 720-740) during sim tests and some how got this 660 on the actual test...

I do not know what Knewton has. Master GMAT theory lessons are all brought to you using the same online interface which you use for exercises. I found it pretty convenient and well taught.
Re: Debrief - 660 (Q47, V34), really disappointed   [#permalink] 15 Feb 2012, 11:04
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