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Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months)

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6 KUDOS received
Joined: 14 Aug 2013
Posts: 6
Concentration: Social Entrepreneurship, Strategy
GMAT 1: 600 Q51 V20
GMAT 2: 580 Q49 V20
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V38
GPA: 3.76
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 10 [6] , given: 2

Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months) [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2013, 04:31
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Dear all prospect top school student,

Today I have taken my third GMAT. Surprisingly, the score is much more higher than I expected, so I would like to share my experience to all despair test taker that Anyone can beat gmat (Either by luck or improved skill , my case is the former one :] ) Below is my GMAT experience, sorry if my english is hard to understand.


I am not a native english speaker. I quitted all my job roughly 10 months before and like all of you, I spent first 6 months with nothing but party and chill out. Then I realise that I need a few months left before submitting applications for business school. I need both Toefl and GMAT. For Toefl, I took Finally three time for Toefl to reach 100 (Feb, Aug and Sep 2013).

Let's concentrate on GMAT (Sep,Oct,Nov)

My first attempt (Sep, 2013)

I spend around a month to prepare at the same time with Toefl. So, I can't fully concentrate on GMAT but fortunately that I found GMATCLUB which helps me a lot with practice and material (now it's time for me to contribute). I bought GMAT Officical'13. I enjoy doing quantitative section a lot because I can do it easily (Common for Eastern countries, I think). That's why I spent most of the time doing Quant and spend time for 15-20 question each verbal (CR,SC,RC). A week before a test, I realise that there is no point to focus on my strength and not even complete verbal exercises. I bought another book Official Verbal even though I have not complete official one. FInally, I completed all SC in Verbal OG, half completed of CR and almost nothing for RC (I don't like reading esp. long and complicated passage) in OG Verbal. Moreover, one of the must book is Manhattan SC because it is well-organised for reference and it also has 6 stimulated CAT.

I did Two mock on GMAT PREP and got 620 and 580. For AWA, ChineseBurned Template is what I spent few days to memorise. This is the must and fastest way.
The result is not impressive which is 600 (Q 51, V20, Awa 4, IR 8). I am out of the test room with the feeling that I can't apply all university in first round and that's presumably mean less chance to be admitted.

My second attempt (Oct, 2013)

I have only 20 days to prepare for, so I have to complete all the OG13 and OG verbal (Just Verbal part) , and I think just OG might not enough for me. I decide to subscribe for e-gmat just in SC. I study all the videos and admittedly, this is really precious resources. It helps me hone my basic skill to the application, improving my confident and framework. E-gmat provides not only strong contents but also a lot of practice (UGE). I did not find UGE at that time because it is in another page. Although most of the content is resemble to the Manhattan book, Believe me people tends to remember better when you perceive visual and audio at the same time. I found out that my weaknesses are CR and RC (with moderate in SC because I am lack of confident when I found long sentence with entire sentence underline)

I did two more: 1st MGMAT 420 (Q42, V3), 2nd MGMAT 640 (Q46, V32) [Dont be surprise I wrongly set alarm from 75 mins for verbal to 7 mins X] )

Finally, I did the test and therefore got only 580 (Q49, V20, AWA 5, IR 5). Totally worst but I started getting used to it, so I was not so sad.

My third attempt (Nov, 2013)

This time I needed to prepare well and seriously, otherwise I would have no chance to apply for some business schools which second round are in December. I bought another OG Verbal and did all SC and CR of OG again. Moreover, most people in GMAT CLUB recommended Powerscore Critical Reasoning. I completed reading within a week but found out that it is too abstract for me (May be I was too rush to finish reading and could not understand to core content, which book tries to convey) then I continue complete UGE in e-gmat. In case the score is not satisfactory, I would do it again and analyse the mistake until they the score reached 80%. I also registered for Grockit which allows you to try the content within 3 days. And I found it is really useful if you want to focus in specific topics. During the time I did MGMAT from 3rd-6th.

MGMAT 3rd 580 (Q40, V31)
MGMAT 4th 640 (Q48, V31)
MGMAT 5th 660 (Q45, V35)
MGMAT 6th 660 (Q46, V34)

Then, I think my verbal score is still not that high. GMATCLUB is the next source that I can think of. Although It has many questions from all source, I want to practice the real feeling of test and hard questions with reliable explanation. I decided to subscribe for 3 month access (not enough KUDO) and did all verbal test within last 3 days. The results vary from V20 (24%) to V30(60%). Most of the questions here are hard around 600-700, so it is worth for me comparing to the costly private tutor. Newtons also offers free test in GMATCLUB which is worth to practice.

I kept 2 extensions of OG Prep until 5 day and 2 day before real test.

GMAT Prep 3: 620
GMAT Prep 4: 660

Last day before exam I spent for memorising AWA template.

Test Day

4 Hours of stress,
For AWA, just follow template and type fast. Make sure you can manage your time well.
Integrate reasoning, GMAT prep is much easier than the real test. I need to guess and skip a lot. However, I have not prepared much for this section, Nothing to blame for but myself and no useful advice from me in this section.
Quantitative, I have barely prepare for this section. What I heard is GMAT CLUB is very good resources, if your weakness is this section I do recommend you to subscribe for 15 tests
Verbal, The more I do, The shorter question which destroyed my confident. It implied my result is not that good and score was going down. Most of RC related to scientific research and non of them are humanity and history (lucky me).

Finally, I almost scream when the score calculated with 730(Q 50, V 38). I need to confirm with the proctors if I did the right test. My hard work pays off this time. Thank you for your reading and Hope this long debrief will inspire some of you who feel improvement is impossible.

Updated: My AWA result shows with 5 ,IR is 4 (Quite embarrassing with IR gradually reduce from 8 to 5 and end up with 4) I am ok with this score already, because I believe retake is too risk to be lower

1. OG'13 : The must but if you profoundly learn from it you can gain 600 at least for sure, however it contains just a few hard questions and unclear explanation for SC sometimes.
2. OG Verbal'5 : Recommend to do it twice, It is another valuable source for those who lack of verbal skill.
3. E-GMat (SC): Worth with reasonable price. Well structure content and a lot of exercises (application questions, UGE). it is suitable for whom doesn't have strong basic of english and native speaker. The only comments is that I am not familiar to indian accent of tutor (you need a little of time to get used to but it is not that hard)
4. GMATCLUB: Plenty of Quant test and 5 Verbal Tests which contain a lot of hard question. It also has massive question bank which I can always "find" explanation. Great Resource!
5. CR Power Score: Many people recommend it, IMO it is suitable for those who need basic concept of CR because there are only little test for each section. I cannot apply it well in my case.
6. Manhattan GMAT SC: The must for reference. Read it twice!!
7. GMAT BOOK download from GMAT Club : Great resource! but I cannot finish it. It provides every detail of grammar for GMAT.

1. a week before real test, try to wake up early and make your routine as you have exam everyday. Your body needs to get used to it.
2. I ate yogurt in the second break, it helps with high sugar and calories.
3. For RC, my weakness, at the first attempt I have not concentrated on this as I mentioned reading long passage is boring . Anyway, I can do only 50% accuracy in OG which too low to be ignored.
In second attempt, I did all passage in Verbal OG and OG'13 and jod down all the words that I don't know, anyway my accuracy still did not improve so far.
Third attempt, I analysed my area of weakness, which are humanity and history, then I search for the interesting article in New York Time, using keyword in your unfamiliar area such as "feminism, civilization, migration, etc.). Newspapers usually talks about the same thing many times, so you can learn synonyms and remember the common word of the story. Then I found that I have more concentration when I read each sentence and summarize or talk to myself to clear the meaning. then, once I finish each paragraph, I concluded the main topic in few words.
The key strategy for me is to make sure I understand every sentences (sometime I don't know the meaning but it is important to know why author need to mention this sentence and I sometimes replace word I don't know into something I think it might be). Focus is the key for me Read Passage in OG and read once again when you review it and make sure you really understand the structure and keep an eyes on adv ex. Surprisingly, Although, etc.

Hope you enjoy. May the odds be ever in your favour!

Last edited by mixxxx on 22 Nov 2013, 01:08, edited 4 times in total.
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
Joined: 03 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 55

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months) [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2013, 16:28
Congratulations on your splendid achievement. You are an inspiration to me.

What is your Q & V breakdown for 730?
Also, you mentioned in your post, you were not fond of reading RC passages. What was your approach towards improving your performance on RC?
Joined: 14 Aug 2013
Posts: 6
Concentration: Social Entrepreneurship, Strategy
GMAT 1: 600 Q51 V20
GMAT 2: 580 Q49 V20
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V38
GPA: 3.76
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 2

Re: Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months) [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2013, 20:14
Dear NextStep,

I added tips for reading and broke down my score for last attempt in my post above. Hope it helps
Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 10
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1

Re: Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months) [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2013, 00:25
Congrats for your achievements and thanks for sharing your experience. It would be really helpful for those students who are preparing for GMAT. I also accept this thing that improvement is possible if we put our can test when you're at your best and apply when you're ready to take next step.
Joined: 15 Nov 2013
Posts: 1
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 2

Re: Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months) [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2013, 10:24
Thanks for this. This is a much better gauge for people trying to score better.

Scoring 700+ on your first CAT and then improving by 20 points studying for a week or something really means nothing. This type of improvement is what most people hope for.
Current Student
Joined: 03 Mar 2013
Posts: 7
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

Re: Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months) [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2013, 07:07
Great result!!!

I have a question for folks on this forum. I took the test in August 2013 and got the same split Q50 V38, but my score was only 710. 20 points is quite a big difference. Maybe, somebody can explain this inconsistancy.
Joined: 18 May 2015
Posts: 37
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 123

Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months) [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2015, 02:28
Congrats on such a fabulous achievement...your suggestions will surely help us go on right track....

Sam GM

Kudos please...

Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months)   [#permalink] 04 Jun 2015, 02:28
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Debrief My experience from 580 to 730 (3 months)

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