Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 22 Oct 2014, 19:23

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6)

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:
9 KUDOS received
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 217
Location: United States
Concentration: International Business, General Management
Schools: Wharton '16 (M)
WE: Analyst (Venture Capital)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 86 [9] , given: 3

FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6) [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2013, 08:42
9
This post received
KUDOS
5
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Man oh man am I relieved. I took the test a month ago but am now finally getting around to posting this. I cannot thank this community enough for finally helping me get this monkey off my back after over 5 years.

The background, pt1:

Graduated from ugrad in spring 2007. Thought an MBA might be in my future. Took a Kaplan course, did the bare minimum, and got a 700 (Q44, V41) in September. Didn't think too much of it at the time, just something in my back pocket. I knew the math wasn't up to snuff, but I had a finance degree with a high GPA so I thought it would not matter much.

The background, pt2:

In the Fall of 2010 I dusted off my old GMAT score, looked at my target schools, and realized I was below average. I was committed to an MBA, so figured with a few more months of focused practice, my 700 score should easily go up. Boy was I wrong. I completed the Manhattan GMAT course cover to cover, took all the practice tests, official sample questions, and was scoring in the 720 range on most practices.

Attempt #2 in February 2011 resulted in a disappointing 670 (Q47, V35). Huge drop off in the verbal I think due to poor stamina, with a mild increase in the Q. It was then I learned the horrors of the percentile tables. My original Q44 dropped from a 72% to a 63%, and this 47 didn't crack 75%. Well, time to try again. I did a few more practice tests and questions, and chalked the low verbal up to nerves.

Attempt #3 in April 2011 resulted in an equally disappointing 690 (Q45, V39). All that work and I would end up going into the application process with the original 700 and a low GMAT score. Even worse, to the application readers it looked like I had become mildly stupider over time. Again, I thought my undergrad record would compensate... wrong.

I got swept in the application process in 2011 - I knew my GMAT was a prime culprit. I applied strictly to M7 schools, and got credible feedback that my GMAT being below the school average with the low Q put a big burden on the rest of my apps. I was crushed - I know that many others do not get into these schools, but I was left wondering if a stupid test score torpedoed the rest, of course I would never know. At that time, I decided that I would look for a new position in lieu of reapplying the following year - I had been waitlisted by three schools and the thought of jumping right back into the process was too daunting. Fortunately I landed a pre-MBA venture capital dream job (albeit at quite an advanced age to others holding the same position), and set sail for a new city. Screw the GMAT and the MBA!

The hunt

Alright, not so simple. The GMAT bug was biting. I couldn't imagine not pursuing an MBA, in whatever form, simply because of this test. I had to defeat this test once and for all. However, to go for attempt #4, I took a completely different approach - mentally, and tactfully.

The mental side was a huge hurdle. I had taken the test 3 times and been rejected from schools. What I did was view conquering the test as a goal unto itself. I ignored what the test was used for, and put my mind straight into those of the test-writers. I was angry, I wanted to crush those who wrote the test. Rather than thinking of the 100,000 other test takers, I focused on the test and the test alone. This may not resonate much with people, but for me it made the task more manageable and helped me move past my failures. On each and every practice test, I took 5 or 10 questions at a time, put my entire mind into getting through those segments.

As for my approach, a subtle change in preparation delivered enormous results. Let me preface by saying that my prep period was nearly 6 months, I dipped my toe in the water for months 1-4, and really turned the screws in months 5-6. I went through another course - this time Knewton - to re-familiarize myself with the concepts. I chose Knewton because it was the cheapest and because a course alone would not get me from 680 to the promised land. Once Knewton was done, I took some practice tests, and to no surprise, I was scoring in the 700-720 range. Mid 40s Q and varying V scores (V score largely related to my confidence coming off the Q section). What I did next I wish I had done back in 2007. I realized I would get a question wrong - across many types - read the course du jour's official answer, and move on. However, many questions I simply could not replicate or internalize the explanation. I felt like a dingbat. However, the beauty of the GMAT is that there truly is not a single way to answer a question. For every question that I either got wrong or which took me more than 2 minutes and 15 seconds, I scoured the internet looking for a solution that was an automatic "ah-ha." Let me tell you, for 99.9% of the explanations I found, there was an "ah-ha" answer. Less than 25% came from official test prep material, 75%+ came from users on this message board and others. I also rigorously practiced mental math tricks, realizing that questions with complicated calculations sent my timing into a tailspin. Jeff Sacks' GMAThacks math guide was great for this, and for other nuggets of knowledge (especially on work/rate questions). Soon enough, I built up a huge arsenal of tricks, and when it came time to the final practice tests, I was scoring Q49/50 every time. A high verbal score was easy if I felt I was doing well on the math. In fact, in my last official GMAT prep test, I got every single verbal question right.

The victory

When 760 flashed across my screen, I wasn't surprised. Nearly every question, with the exception of some crazy experimental ones (I'm guessing), connected to my bag of tricks. It felt like I wasn't even thinking - I saw what the question was trying to do, and picked an approach and nailed it.

Will I apply again to schools with this new score? The verdict is out on that. I'm just happy I won. I would highly encourage folks to separate the GMAT from the MBA application process itself and leave yourself time to get comfortable with it all.

That was a long ramble, please PM me if you have any specific questions about my approach.


Edit: Update 12/18 - Admitted to Booth and Wharton

Last edited by bb on 18 Dec 2013, 21:35, edited 1 time in total.
Update Added
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesGMAT Pill GMAT Discount Codes
VP
VP
avatar
Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 1101
Followers: 73

Kudos [?]: 448 [0], given: 454

Premium Member CAT Tests
Re: FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6) [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2013, 10:38
chromium73 wrote:

In fact, in my last official GMAT prep test, I got every single verbal question right.



That's quite an achievement.

For all your percentile table horrors earlier, you are now a 99 percentile scorer yourself - congratulations on the super score.

P.S: giving it a fourth shot requires balls. Good for you that you had them!
Expert Post
SVP
SVP
avatar
Status: Graduated
Affiliations: HEC
Joined: 28 Sep 2009
Posts: 1638
Concentration: Economics, Finance
GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V44
Followers: 86

Kudos [?]: 490 [0], given: 432

Premium Member
Re: FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6) [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2013, 11:54
Expert's post
Excellent score on your retake! Also, your debrief contained some interesting observations that should be helpful for future test-takers.
_________________

Get the best GMAT Prep Resources with GMAT Club Premium Membership

Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 21 Jun 2011
Posts: 73
Location: United States
Concentration: Accounting, Finance
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 12

CAT Tests
Re: FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6) [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2013, 17:03
chromium73 wrote:
Man oh man am I relieved. I took the test a month ago but am now finally getting around to posting this. I cannot thank this community enough for finally helping me get this monkey off my back after over 5 years.

The background, pt1:

Graduated from ugrad in spring 2007. Thought an MBA might be in my future. Took a Kaplan course, did the bare minimum, and got a 700 (Q44, V41) in September. Didn't think too much of it at the time, just something in my back pocket. I knew the math wasn't up to snuff, but I had a finance degree with a high GPA so I thought it would not matter much.

The background, pt2:

In the Fall of 2010 I dusted off my old GMAT score, looked at my target schools, and realized I was below average. I was committed to an MBA, so figured with a few more months of focused practice, my 700 score should easily go up. Boy was I wrong. I completed the Manhattan GMAT course cover to cover, took all the practice tests, official sample questions, and was scoring in the 720 range on most practices.

Attempt #2 in February 2011 resulted in a disappointing 670 (Q47, V35). Huge drop off in the verbal I think due to poor stamina, with a mild increase in the Q. It was then I learned the horrors of the percentile tables. My original Q44 dropped from a 72% to a 63%, and this 47 didn't crack 75%. Well, time to try again. I did a few more practice tests and questions, and chalked the low verbal up to nerves.

Attempt #3 in April 2011 resulted in an equally disappointing 690 (Q45, V39). All that work and I would end up going into the application process with the original 700 and a low GMAT score. Even worse, to the application readers it looked like I had become mildly stupider over time. Again, I thought my undergrad record would compensate... wrong.

I got swept in the application process in 2011 - I knew my GMAT was a prime culprit. I applied strictly to M7 schools, and got credible feedback that my GMAT being below the school average with the low Q put a big burden on the rest of my apps. I was crushed - I know that many others do not get into these schools, but I was left wondering if a stupid test score torpedoed the rest, of course I would never know. At that time, I decided that I would look for a new position in lieu of reapplying the following year - I had been waitlisted by three schools and the thought of jumping right back into the process was too daunting. Fortunately I landed a pre-MBA venture capital dream job (albeit at quite an advanced age to others holding the same position), and set sail for a new city. Screw the GMAT and the MBA!

The hunt

Alright, not so simple. The GMAT bug was biting. I couldn't imagine not pursuing an MBA, in whatever form, simply because of this test. I had to defeat this test once and for all. However, to go for attempt #4, I took a completely different approach - mentally, and tactfully.

The mental side was a huge hurdle. I had taken the test 3 times and been rejected from schools. What I did was view conquering the test as a goal unto itself. I ignored what the test was used for, and put my mind straight into those of the test-writers. I was angry, I wanted to crush those who wrote the test. Rather than thinking of the 100,000 other test takers, I focused on the test and the test alone. This may not resonate much with people, but for me it made the task more manageable and helped me move past my failures. On each and every practice test, I took 5 or 10 questions at a time, put my entire mind into getting through those segments.

As for my approach, a subtle change in preparation delivered enormous results. Let me preface by saying that my prep period was nearly 6 months, I dipped my toe in the water for months 1-4, and really turned the screws in months 5-6. I went through another course - this time Knewton - to re-familiarize myself with the concepts. I chose Knewton because it was the cheapest and because a course alone would not get me from 680 to the promised land. Once Knewton was done, I took some practice tests, and to no surprise, I was scoring in the 700-720 range. Mid 40s Q and varying V scores (V score largely related to my confidence coming off the Q section). What I did next I wish I had done back in 2007. I realized I would get a question wrong - across many types - read the course du jour's official answer, and move on. However, many questions I simply could not replicate or internalize the explanation. I felt like a dingbat. However, the beauty of the GMAT is that there truly is not a single way to answer a question. For every question that I either got wrong or which took me more than 2 minutes and 15 seconds, I scoured the internet looking for a solution that was an automatic "ah-ha." Let me tell you, for 99.9% of the explanations I found, there was an "ah-ha" answer. Less than 25% came from official test prep material, 75%+ came from users on this message board and others. I also rigorously practiced mental math tricks, realizing that questions with complicated calculations sent my timing into a tailspin. Jeff Sacks' GMAThacks math guide was great for this, and for other nuggets of knowledge (especially on work/rate questions). Soon enough, I built up a huge arsenal of tricks, and when it came time to the final practice tests, I was scoring Q49/50 every time. A high verbal score was easy if I felt I was doing well on the math. In fact, in my last official GMAT prep test, I got every single verbal question right.

The victory

When 760 flashed across my screen, I wasn't surprised. Nearly every question, with the exception of some crazy experimental ones (I'm guessing), connected to my bag of tricks. It felt like I wasn't even thinking - I saw what the question was trying to do, and picked an approach and nailed it.

Will I apply again to schools with this new score? The verdict is out on that. I'm just happy I won. I would highly encourage folks to separate the GMAT from the MBA application process itself and leave yourself time to get comfortable with it all.

That was a long ramble, please PM me if you have any specific questions about my approach.


Congrats!!!! Great Score...Buddy could you please post your Quant flash cards or tip/tricks if you maintained any flash cards.
4 KUDOS received
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 217
Location: United States
Concentration: International Business, General Management
Schools: Wharton '16 (M)
WE: Analyst (Venture Capital)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 86 [4] , given: 3

Re: FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6) [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2013, 15:34
4
This post received
KUDOS
I've gotten a number of PM's from people asking me to clarify my approach. Looking back on my studying experiences, if I could do it right one time (instead of 3), this is what my approach would have been:

1) Take an online course to familiarize yourself with the structure of the test and the key concepts. I really liked Knewton the best because of its low price and the fact that the lectures were engaging, funny and low-stress.

2) Jump into questions from the OG. Keep a detailed error log, going into explicit detail on the types of questions you got wrong and timing. Instead of classifying questions as something generic like "geometry," get into detail like "triangles inscribed in circles."

3) Review books from a separate test prep company. I say this because there could be some concepts that resonate better with one test prep company vs. the other. Suggestions include the Manhattan Guides and gmathacks. Now your arsenal of tricks has increased.

4) Take non-official CATs. If you used Knewton you have 6 right there, and if you bought the Manhattan books you have another 6.

5) Go back to the OG questions. Revise your error log, which hopefully will decrease in size and number of concepts. For the questions you are still getting wrong, scour the web for explanations on a question by question basis. Be diligent on timing in this stage.

6) Take official GMAT CATs. If you are scoring 30+ points above your target, godspeed.
Expert Post
Founder
Founder
User avatar
Affiliations: UA-1K, SPG-G, HH-D
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 12341
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
WE: Information Technology (Hospitality and Tourism)
Followers: 2323

Kudos [?]: 9427 [0], given: 3699

GMAT ToolKit User Premium Member CAT Tests
Re: FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6) [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2013, 21:33
Expert's post
Nicely done and finished your first stage of the MBA journey strong with Admits to Booth and Wharton.
Congratulations!

Reference: wharton-vs-booth-164715.html
_________________

Founder of GMAT Club

Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... | Want to know your GMAT Score? Try GMAT Score Estimator
Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books

Co-author of the GMAT Club tests

Have a blog? Feature it on GMAT Club!

Get the best GMAT Prep Resources with GMAT Club Premium Membership

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 217
Location: United States
Concentration: International Business, General Management
Schools: Wharton '16 (M)
WE: Analyst (Venture Capital)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 86 [0], given: 3

Re: FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6) [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2013, 08:35
bb wrote:
Nicely done and finished your first stage of the MBA journey strong with Admits to Booth and Wharton.
Congratulations!

Reference: wharton-vs-booth-164715.html


Thank you BB. This sight has been a godsend for me. It helped me when I decided to re-take the GMAT, whether to re-apply immediately after my rejections 2 years ago, and immeasurably during this application round. This is a great community of supportive folks.
Re: FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6)   [#permalink] 19 Dec 2013, 08:35
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
1 GMAT 720(Q50,V38,AWA6,IR8): A Debrief singlarishabh 0 11 Apr 2014, 23:01
8 Overcoming the Verbal – (760 Q50, V42, AWA 6.0, IR8) aanakr 10 30 Mar 2014, 10:04
30 Experts publish their posts in the topic GMAT 700 (Q50 V34) Finally ... 760(Q50 V42 IR8) ankurgupta03 28 26 Apr 2013, 02:56
50 Experts publish their posts in the topic The Bang, Bang Guide to a 760 (Q50 V44) AWA 6.0 whiplash2411 148 29 Dec 2010, 19:07
GMAT is down :) 760, Q50/V44 braindancer 9 10 Oct 2006, 07:34
Display posts from previous: Sort by

FINALLY destroyed the GMAT with a 760 (Q50, V44, IR8, AWA6)

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  

Moderators: TGC, m3equals333



GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.