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First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience

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Manager
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Joined: 20 Sep 2012
Posts: 51
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
Schools: HSG '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.37
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 49 [13] , given: 34

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First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2013, 21:15
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I took the test on December 28 and got 750 (Q50, V40, AWA 4, IR 7). I hope my experience will be somewhat helpful for those struggling with the GMAT.

Background:


I received first degree in Finance in July. Planning to apply to an MBA course in the future, I started preparing early before occupying myself with office tasks.

My prep time:


I gradually learned about GMAT since the first half of 2012, though not too much (~ 2-3 hours/week). 2 months before test date, I started to study intensively.

Quant:


At the first stage of my preparation, I focused on Quant only. The materials I used were 5 books from Manhattan series. Although those books are undeniably useful, finishing them may take a lot of stamina, especially if you have limited time. Math knowledge tested is rather simple but there are many traps in the questions. The Gmat Club Quant Tests are highly recommended since you will get familiar with the traps after doing a few tests.

Verbal:


Sentence Correction: mastering SC concepts is the easiest way to improve your verbal score. Manhattan SC is a good book but it may be difficult to digest at first. After finishing Manhattan Guide, I still made many mistakes in SC so I decided to use Aristotle SC Grail to grab the basic concepts and then read Manhattan again. This strategy really helps since my accuracy rate increased significantly. For practice purpose, I recommend purchasing Aristotle New SC Questionbank and practicing regularly on Veritas Free Question Bank.

Critical Reasoning: Powerscore CR is a great book to help you prepare for CR questions. I used to take note for every questions but then I found this method time-consuming and somewhat inefficient. For me, the better way is to learn the usual patterns of CR questions so that I can predict the answers or find the answers without spending too much time. Some useful materials are Aristotle free collection of LSAT CR (it was removed from Aristotle's website but can be found in Gmat Club) and Veritas Question Bank.

Reading Comprehension: this is the section that I fear the most because GMAT reading passages are convoluted for a non-native speaker of English. In the forum, there are many methods to tackle RC questions. You should try all the methods to decide which is the best for you. I have changed my strategy 3 times before finding that the one for me is to read the whole passage (taking note is my weakness again). The only way that helps is to read as much as you can. I read The Atlantic and Smithsonian magazine everyday because their articles are rather complicated and contain some GMAT's reading topics. I also used Aristotle RC 99 to practice. First, I do the questions in test condition and then read the passage slowly to fully understand it. The passages I encountered in the real test were much more easier than those in this book.

Practice Tests: Take as many practice tests as possible (including AWA and IR). Doing so not only helps you build stamina but also makes your test day more comfortable.
Here are my practice tests history and my review:
    - Kaplan CAT 1 FREE: 630 - In my opinion, you should not expect too much from this test because it is not adaptive. Just take this to know what the Test is like.
    - 800score: I took the Quant section only. It was good but don't be discouraged by low scores.
    - GMAT Prep 1: 730 Q50 V38
    - Princeton 1: 730 Q47 V45 Good test to practice but the section score maybe in accurate. You may lose 1 point for 1 wrong answer
    - Princeton 2: 720 Q49 V41
    - Veritas Free Test: 740 Q51 V41 One of the best free tests beside GMAT Prep and Manhattan Free Test. Be aware that there may be some questions you have encountered in Veritas Question Bank
    - Manhattan CAT 1: 730 Q51 V38 Manhattan Quant is much harder than what you see in the real test
    - Manhattan CAT 2: 720 Q51 V37
    - Manhattan CAT 3: 710 Q48 V38 I tried to solve a question for too long and failed to do the rest well. Remember to move on if you cannot find the answer after 2.5 minutes
    - Manhattan CAT 4: 730 Q51 V38
    - Manhattan CAT 5: 730 Q49 V40 Verbal scores in the last 2 tests are higher than usual because you may see more easy questions
    - Manhattan CAT 6: 740 Q51 V40
    - GMAT Prep retake: 760

Before test date: a few days before test day, I reviewed all the Topicwise collections of CR and SC to hone my skills. Because Topicwise collections have many questions from Manhattan CAT, you should read these materials only after finishing all Manhattan CATs. For Quant, Bunuel's collections are great.

Last edited by MonSama on 27 Aug 2014, 22:24, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2013, 23:46
Congrats on your 750! Can you further share your experience with "Aristotle free collection of LSAT CR" & "Aristotle RC 99"? How did you find the quality and difficulty level of the questions?
_________________

Thanks,
PraPon

Tough 700+ Level RCs: Passage1 | Passage2 | Passage3 | Passage4 | Passage5 | Passage6 | Passage7
Reading Comprehension notes: Click here
VOTE: vote-best-gmat-practice-tests-excluding-gmatprep-144859.html
PowerScore CR Bible - Official Guide 13 Questions Set Mapped: Click here

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Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2013, 00:47
MonSama wrote:
I reviewed all the Topicwise collections of CR and SC to hone my skills.


It is very informative and inspiring debrief; Thanks for posting!
I assume you created this collection, while you preparation. OR is it any specific material you are reffering to?
_________________

Thanks and Regards!

P.S. +Kudos Please! in case you like my post. :)

Manager
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Joined: 20 Sep 2012
Posts: 51
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
Schools: HSG '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.37
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 49 [0], given: 34

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2013, 01:16
goutamread wrote:
MonSama wrote:
I reviewed all the Topicwise collections of CR and SC to hone my skills.


It is very informative and inspiring debrief; Thanks for posting!
I assume you created this collection, while you preparation. OR is it any specific material you are reffering to?


Topicwise collections are upload by Legendaddy. In his signature, there are links to some fine collections.

Here are Topicwise CR and Topicwise SC

Last edited by MonSama on 16 Jan 2013, 06:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Manager
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Joined: 20 Sep 2012
Posts: 51
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
Schools: HSG '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.37
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 49 [1] , given: 34

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2013, 01:45
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PraPon wrote:
Congrats on your 750! Can you further share your experience with "Aristotle free collection of LSAT CR" & "Aristotle RC 99"? How did you find the quality and difficulty level of the questions?

LSAT CR questions are good materials to improve CR score. Since those are official LSAT questions, the quality is guaranteed. Although there aren't many hard questions, this collection helped me sharpen my intuition for CR.

As regards RC 99, I heard some reviews on the forum about its difficulty and decided to have a look at this book. RC 99 contains long passages and high level vocabulary. I started with low difficulty level for a few days. I only moved to medium level after feeling comfortable with the passages. I mostly practice with medium level because it is most suitable to me. The hardest level is out of my league; sometimes I had to read the passage twice to understand its idea. However, practicing with a few hard passages helps me to get ready so that I won't be shocked when hard questions appear.
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Joined: 27 Jun 2012
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Concentration: Strategy, Finance
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Kudos [?]: 366 [0], given: 182

Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2013, 01:53
MonSama wrote:
PraPon wrote:
Congrats on your 750! Can you further share your experience with "Aristotle free collection of LSAT CR" & "Aristotle RC 99"? How did you find the quality and difficulty level of the questions?

LSAT CR questions are good materials to improve CR score. Since those are official LSAT questions, the quality is guaranteed. Although there aren't many hard questions, this collection helped me sharpen my intuition for CR.

As regards RC 99, I heard some reviews on the forum about its difficulty and decided to have a look at this book. RC 99 contains long passages and high level vocabulary. I started with low difficulty level for a few days. I only moved to medium level after feeling comfortable with the passages. I mostly practice with medium level because it is most suitable to me. The hardest level is out of my league; sometimes I had to read the passage twice to understand its idea. However, practicing with a few hard passages helps me to get ready so that I won't be shocked when hard questions appear.


Thanks....That explains it...good luck on you applications.
_________________

Thanks,
PraPon

Tough 700+ Level RCs: Passage1 | Passage2 | Passage3 | Passage4 | Passage5 | Passage6 | Passage7
Reading Comprehension notes: Click here
VOTE: vote-best-gmat-practice-tests-excluding-gmatprep-144859.html
PowerScore CR Bible - Official Guide 13 Questions Set Mapped: Click here

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Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 06:39
MonSama wrote:
goutamread wrote:
MonSama wrote:
I reviewed all the Topicwise collections of CR and SC to hone my skills.


It is very informative and inspiring debrief; Thanks for posting!
I assume you created this collection, while you preparation. OR is it any specific material you are reffering to?


Topicwise collections are upload by Legendaddy. In his signature, there are links to some fine collections.

Here are Topicwise CR and Topicwise SC



Thanks MonSama! I could find topic wise SC, I couldn't find topic wise CR though. Do you have CR one handy with you? :)
_________________

Thanks and Regards!

P.S. +Kudos Please! in case you like my post. :)

Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 20 Sep 2012
Posts: 51
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
Schools: HSG '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.37
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 49 [0], given: 34

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 06:43
goutamread wrote:
Thanks MonSama! I could find topic wise SC, I couldn't find topic wise CR though. Do you have CR one handy with you? :)

Here it is. Now the link is correct :-D Topicwise CR
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Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 08:13
Thanks for sharing, good advice.
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Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2013, 11:43
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Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
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GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
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Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2013, 22:04
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souvik101990 wrote:
If i am not wrong, you were one of the Facebook contest winner right?

Yes, I was so lucky to win 3-month access to GMAT Club Tests :-D
Re: First attempt: 750 (Q50,V40). My self-study experience   [#permalink] 17 Jan 2013, 22:04
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