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Debrief - 750 (Q50, V41). Relieved.

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Debrief - 750 (Q50, V41). Relieved. [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2013, 22:00
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Background:

Took GMAT (680, Q44 V38) after getting 640 680 (MGMAT) and 730 (GMATPrep) and barely 2 weeks of study. Obviously not enough. Felt terrible and knew I could do better.

Second time around

Materials: I had nothing before but after reading GMATClub I knew I had to get the OG for the second test, which was good, but not nearly as good as the MGMAT guides. Sentence correction really helped my Vscore but the key was the word problems and percents guides. Excellent, well thought out material. But finally, what truly helped me:

Bunuel.

That dude, with his explanations on virtually all the tough problems out there, really showed me how to tackle the tough ones, which are the only way you can get Q48 and higher. I went through so many of the problems he detailed and got a really great feel for how the GMAT tricks you. For example, they will frequently give info for both A and B but because they are not properly aligned in the equation it's insufficient, or small changes in wording to convert from minutes to hours, or (CRITICAL) using hidden restrictions to make even innocuous info "Pigs are >12" sufficient. Seeing how easily and clearly he made it look inspired me that if one works at it they can solve anything.
This was hugely important because a mere 2 days before the GMAT I was still getting q44s and 43s! Since my verbal was consistently 45 due to my sentence correction brushup, I became obsessed with quant and Bunuel's problem sets and commentary helped immensely. So thank you.

Concepts: The key for me was consistent study. If you want to do well on the GMAT, you must either 1) know every formula and know your way out of any Math jam or 2) learn to think like the GMAT. And this means immersing yourself in it. Literally lose yourself in the questions and techniques until you begin dreaming about whether x>0 and y<0 are sufficient. When you hear people talk you break down in your head whether what they say makes logical sense and whether it's grammatical and whether you needed that extra bit of info in the question stem about Carlos and his bike. When you begin to live in that world, you're in a good place, at least in GMAT terms. Because then the exams, practice and real become like your territory. And you don't freak out about initially difficult problems.

Which brings me to test day.

The first time I took the test I had major jitters, everyone does. But a lot of it came from the fact that while I scored a 730 on GMATPrep the night before I felt if they asked me the wrong stuff I was screwed. That fear, combined with "If I don't ace this my dreams are dashed" anxiety made me really tight mentally. Some people handle this sort of pressure super well and are robots, doing their job and moving on. I'm a bit more in my head, so if anyone else is like that and wants to know how to kick it, here's what I did the second time:

The key thing was to accept that you may screw the test up. Accept that it's not the end of the world and that you can always retake etc. And don't just tell yourself this, you must truly believe it, so that you can loosen up. If you don't accept this, you WILL be too nervous and you WILL forget basic things, which is what happened to me the first time when the first question was a "1970 pop. was 70% of year 1980" and I couldn't even figure out how to designate the year 1970 as a variable. Shit happens.
So for a guy like me the most important this is staying loose, especially in the quant section. You need to be flexible and explore other ways of solving a problem if the first one doesn't work. Practice helps this but also a "can-do", relaxed attitude. STAY LOOSE.

Best of luck to all of you out there, a great score is definitely possible.
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Re: Debrief - 750 (Q50, V41). Relieved. [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 06:29
Wow holla8283

Great !!

Congrats !!!

I have a few questions for u :
How long it took you after ur first gmat to get this amazing score ?
How many RC passages was there in your second attempt ?
It is true that the level of the quantitative section is getting tougher between ur first and second attempt ?

Thanks in advance and again CONGRATS !!
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Re: Debrief - 750 (Q50, V41). Relieved. [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2013, 19:16
to respond to @Rock750,
'How long it took you after ur first gmat to get this amazing score ? '

It took about a month and a half but in truth I began to study in earnest about 2 weeks before the second exam. about 5 hours a day, including practice exams.

'How many RC passages was there in your second attempt ?'

There were 4, and the last 2 were nasty, with one of them dealing with a random star and black holes and distance to the sun, etc. I wish I could remember the other 3 but I don't want to give a practice exam question by mistake since they all run together now in my head :/. Pretty sure I started off very strong in verbal since I usually finish with about 10 minutes remaining. This time I took nearly all my time, firstly because the questions, (especially some crazy CR late in the test and the aforementioned reading comp) and secondly because I was making extra sure and had coached myself a bit on time management prior to the test. I do feel for the non-native speakers, as I can definitely see areas which would get tough.

'It is true that the level of the quantitative section is getting tougher between ur first and second attempt ?'

No, it was probably about the same, I think I just dealt with them differently. However, the MGMAT quant questions were significantly harder, like I said I was getting q 44s and 45s before the exam. The verbals on the other hand, were much harder for the GMAT than MGMAT. I was consistently getting V45s on the MGMAT but the verbal seemed--and was-- harder on the GMAT.

Good luck!
Re: Debrief - 750 (Q50, V41). Relieved.   [#permalink] 04 Feb 2013, 19:16
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Debrief - 750 (Q50, V41). Relieved.

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