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# From 530 to 710(Q45 V41)! I'm a believer!

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From 530 to 710(Q45 V41)! I'm a believer! [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2005, 22:51
I want to start off by saying thanks to all those who work so hard keeping this forum going. I owe much of my improvement to everyone who share their thoughts etc. on this website. I have to admit that when I first found this web site I was a little apprehensive to use it as a preparation tool. But as I searched the forums and read numerous posts, I began to see the value of interacting with other people as I prepared for my test. I can't tell you how many times members of this forum helped me with problems I was having difficulty understanding. Time after time I would be struggling with a solution to a problem so I would get on this web site, search for a similar problem or even the exact same problem, and find that a discussion had already taken place on that problem and that an in-depth solution was already explained. Also, I can't tell you how much it helped me to participate in the forums by posting my solutions to problems. Posting my solutions really helped drive home concepts that I would have normally forgotten 30 seconds after reading the post. Those are just a few of the benefits you will discover by using this web site. I could keep going on about the advantages but I donâ€™t want this post to turn into a novel.

Now to the test. I was scheduled to take the test at 1:00pm in the afternoon (In retrospect I should have scheduled the test for around 11:00-as my metal focus began to wane towards the end of the test). The AWA went fine. The topics were very typical to what you would find in the OG. After a 5 min break I sat for the Quant section. This was the moment of truth for me because in the first exam, Quant beat me up pretty badly. I think I scored just above the 50% on the first exam. This time was a completely different experience however. I only remember getting a couple of questions that I had no idea how to solve. The rest were fairly typical, difficult OG questions, which aren't that difficult once you learn how to solve them. Although my Quant score still isnâ€™t the greatest, it is a significant improvement and I will take it. GMAT math problems just take a lot of practice, and you MUST...MUST learn the concepts rather than trying to solve through back solving etc. I believe that back solving has its place in the GMAT, but I personally don't believe that it should be the first course of action; rather it should be a last resort. In my opinion, back solving takes up way to much time and there are too many pitfalls. This is contrary to what Princeton Review claims. Nevertheless, it is just my opinion.

The Verbal section was a bit of a surprise to me. In all my practice test, verbal seemed to be my strength, but on the real test I got very far behind on time and for a moment I even thought about abandoning the test. I thought I was going to have to guess on the last 5 or so questions because I was so far behind on time. In retrospect I don't believe the verbal section was that much harder than what I saw on any of my practice tests, but for some reason I got behind at the beginning and really had to push it during the last 30 min of the section to make it on time. I think I just got a little over confident and ETS sucker punched me. Don't let that happen to you. Also, you are going to be mentally weary by the time you get to the verbal section, so really work on your stamina. I think the best practice for the Verbal section is the LSAT books for CR and RC and doing as many SC as possible. Important, donâ€™t kid yourself by thinking that you can get by just practicing one section at a time. The stamina youâ€™ll need for the test can only be gained by sitting for full length practice tests. Again, itâ€™s my opinion. Iâ€™m sure there are many gifted test takers out there that will disagree.

This post is getting way too long so I'll wrap it up for now. If any of you have questions please feel free to contact me. The following are my practice scores.

Power Prep #1 - 720
Power Prep #2 - 690
GMAT Prep #1 -650
GMAT Prep #2 - 650
Arco#1 - 680
Arco#2 - 790
Kaplan #1 - 610
Kaplan #3 -570
Kaplan #4 - 550

Real Test - 710 (45Q 41V)
(please note these test are not arranged in chronological order - I started with Kaplan and I don't remember the order after that)

Good luck to all of you in your future endeavors. If there was one final piece of advice that I could give you it would be, there is no one right way to study for the GMAT. Everyone is different and needs to approach the test slightly different then the next person. Just be consistent with your study, determined to reach your goal, search this web site for advice, and I have no doubt that you will be successful. I hope something I said in this post will be beneficial to you in some way.
_________________

Chet

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Re: From 530 to 710(Q45 V41)! I'm a believer! [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2005, 23:36
chet719 wrote:
I want to start off by saying thanks to all those who work so hard keeping this forum going. I owe much of my improvement to everyone who share their thoughts etc. on this website. I have to admit that when I first found this web site I was a little apprehensive to use it as a preparation tool. But as I searched the forums and read numerous posts, I began to see the value of interacting with other people as I prepared for my test. I can't tell you how many times members of this forum helped me with problems I was having difficulty understanding. Time after time I would be struggling with a solution to a problem so I would get on this web site, search for a similar problem or even the exact same problem, and find that a discussion had already taken place on that problem and that an in-depth solution was already explained. Also, I can't tell you how much it helped me to participate in the forums by posting my solutions to problems. Posting my solutions really helped drive home concepts that I would have normally forgotten 30 seconds after reading the post. Those are just a few of the benefits you will discover by using this web site. I could keep going on about the advantages but I donâ€™t want this post to turn into a novel.

Now to the test. I was scheduled to take the test at 1:00pm in the afternoon (In retrospect I should have scheduled the test for around 11:00-as my metal focus began to wane towards the end of the test). The AWA went fine. The topics were very typical to what you would find in the OG. After a 5 min break I sat for the Quant section. This was the moment of truth for me because in the first exam, Quant beat me up pretty badly. I think I scored just above the 50% on the first exam. This time was a completely different experience however. I only remember getting a couple of questions that I had no idea how to solve. The rest were fairly typical, difficult OG questions, which aren't that difficult once you learn how to solve them. Although my Quant score still isnâ€™t the greatest, it is a significant improvement and I will take it. GMAT math problems just take a lot of practice, and you MUST...MUST learn the concepts rather than trying to solve through back solving etc. I believe that back solving has its place in the GMAT, but I personally don't believe that it should be the first course of action; rather it should be a last resort. In my opinion, back solving takes up way to much time and there are too many pitfalls. This is contrary to what Princeton Review claims. Nevertheless, it is just my opinion.

The Verbal section was a bit of a surprise to me. In all my practice test, verbal seemed to be my strength, but on the real test I got very far behind on time and for a moment I even thought about abandoning the test. I thought I was going to have to guess on the last 5 or so questions because I was so far behind on time. In retrospect I don't believe the verbal section was that much harder than what I saw on any of my practice tests, but for some reason I got behind at the beginning and really had to push it during the last 30 min of the section to make it on time. I think I just got a little over confident and ETS sucker punched me. Don't let that happen to you. Also, you are going to be mentally weary by the time you get to the verbal section, so really work on your stamina. I think the best practice for the Verbal section is the LSAT books for CR and RC and doing as many SC as possible. Important, donâ€™t kid yourself by thinking that you can get by just practicing one section at a time. The stamina youâ€™ll need for the test can only be gained by sitting for full length practice tests. Again, itâ€™s my opinion. Iâ€™m sure there are many gifted test takers out there that will disagree.

This post is getting way too long so I'll wrap it up for now. If any of you have questions please feel free to contact me. The following are my practice scores.

Power Prep #1 - 720
Power Prep #2 - 690
GMAT Prep #1 -650
GMAT Prep #2 - 650
Arco#1 - 680
Arco#2 - 790
Kaplan #1 - 610
Kaplan #3 -570
Kaplan #4 - 550

Real Test - 710 (45Q 41V)
(please note these test are not arranged in chronological order - I started with Kaplan and I don't remember the order after that)

Good luck to all of you in your future endeavors. If there was one final piece of advice that I could give you it would be, there is no one right way to study for the GMAT. Everyone is different and needs to approach the test slightly different then the next person. Just be consistent with your study, determined to reach your goal, search this web site for advice, and I have no doubt that you will be successful. I hope something I said in this post will be beneficial to you in some way.

CONGRATUALTIONS
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01 Oct 2005, 05:54
Thats a great score!!! All the best with your apps!
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01 Oct 2005, 09:51
Chet - nice job! How long after your 1st test did you take your 2nd one? I scored a miserable 470 on my first attempt this week but am determined to conquer the beast; I know I can score at least 550+.

What LSAT book did you use for RC and CR? Also, what primary book did you use for PS and DS - OG 10th edition?

Thanks and congratulations again! I hope to post something similar in the coming months.
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01 Oct 2005, 17:04
awsome....please tell us what you did different from your first attempt..and please hang around the board.....we need you...
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01 Oct 2005, 19:50
Congrats, that's an awesome score and I'm sure you must be thrilled at the jump! Your story is truly inspiring.

I think you made an excellent point about the importance of learning the concepts. So many people come on here and ask about how they can truly improve their scores; what prep materials to use, what practice tests to take and what problems to do. All of that is well and good. But there's no substitute for learning and truly understanding the underlying concepts. You can practise a zillion problems on SC, for example, but if you don't know the basic rules of English grammar, it won't do a whit of good. Better to study the concepts and then do practice problems and tests.
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01 Oct 2005, 20:54
CONGRATS !!!!

thats really inspiring for sum1 like me SCORING in early 500's

I am working on my concepts....

But HATS OFF TO YOU CHET !!!!

HARDWORK , DETERMINATION AND DEDICATION HAS PAID OFF..!!!!

( "From 530 to 710(Q45 V41)! I'm a believer!" )

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR APPLICATIONS !!

I AM GOING TO FIGHT BACK
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02 Oct 2005, 07:15
ValleyBall1 wrote:
Chet - nice job! How long after your 1st test did you take your 2nd one? I scored a miserable 470 on my first attempt this week but am determined to conquer the beast; I know I can score at least 550+.

What LSAT book did you use for RC and CR? Also, what primary book did you use for PS and DS - OG 10th edition?

Thanks and congratulations again! I hope to post something similar in the coming months.

ValleyBall1 and Freshina, I actually took a different approach then many on this web site. You often hear of people taking only a month or two (maybe less) and then giving the test another shot. Well, first off it took me awhile to shake off the first disappointment. After some "soul searching," I decided that next time I take the test I would have no doubts about my success. I also decided not to set a date for the test. I just studied until I felt confident, and then scheduled the test 4 days later. I would have scheduled it sooner if there was an availability. Total time between tests was 1.5 years. I realized that there is so much hype surrounding this test and that in the first test the hype really affected me. I didn't want a "G date" looming in the future to distract me etc.

In regard to your question about the LSAT books, there are two books (one orange and one blue) that contain previous official LSAT tests. The titles are "LSAT Super Prep" and "10 Actual, Official LSAT Prep Tests." They are published by LSAC and are invaluable. Also, these questions are as hard as you'll find so when you get to the real test, it will be a walk in the park. I used many different sources for DS and PS. If I could recommend one or two, they would be Kaplan (CAT tests primarily and GMAT 800), and last 200 or so problems in the 10ed of OG. Once you have a good foundation start practicing with the harder stuff (i.e. GMAT club challenges). Your study should be like building a house - you can't build the tapestries (hard problems) before you lay a solid foundation (math basics). Also, realize that Quality is much better than quantity. When you take practice tests etc., analyze them after you finish. Figure out why you answered the way you did on the questions you got right and figure out what you did wrong on the questions you missed. This is vital!

Hope this helps. Let me know how everything is going.
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Last edited by chet719 on 02 Oct 2005, 07:25, edited 1 time in total.
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02 Oct 2005, 07:23
coffeeloverfreak wrote:
Congrats, that's an awesome score and I'm sure you must be thrilled at the jump! Your story is truly inspiring.

I think you made an excellent point about the importance of learning the concepts. So many people come on here and ask about how they can truly improve their scores; what prep materials to use, what practice tests to take and what problems to do. All of that is well and good. But there's no substitute for learning and truly understanding the underlying concepts. You can practise a zillion problems on SC, for example, but if you don't know the basic rules of English grammar, it won't do a whit of good. Better to study the concepts and then do practice problems and tests.

Coffeeloverfreak, I couldn't have said it better. Congrats on your great score.

To all, if you want to learn how to conquer the GMAT, read Coffeeloverfreaks posts. They are high quality.
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02 Oct 2005, 07:43
*Awwww* I'm blushing
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03 Oct 2005, 08:45
Hey Chet,

Congrats on the score!!!
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03 Oct 2005, 10:12
Chet,

Congrats and well done!
It's an awesome score you've got and a really nice inspiring story of yours.

Cheers

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03 Oct 2005, 21:22
Congrats dude,

That's really cool...

Good luck for the apps process
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03 Oct 2005, 21:43
Congratulations Chet. We knew you would beat the test looking at your wonderful explanations here in forums.

- Regarding your point about back-solving, I am not comfortable with it. However, in recent practice tests, I was severely out of timings and during analysis I thought maybe I should start practicing backsolving. What do you suggest. Is it possible to attempt all questions with traditional method?

- also, did you encounter problems in any unusual area which we do not discuss here?

All the best for your app.
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04 Oct 2005, 05:02
Duttsit, Don't get me wrong, backsolving saved my butt a couple of times on the test because I didn't see how to solve throught algebra, etc. However, normally it takes me a very long time to get the solution through backsolving. Example, if a question asks you to give an equation in terms of a certain variable. Yes, you can assign values and then try each answere until you find the correct one. The problem is you must try every solution because there may be more than one answer that is gives you the right solution. If that happens you have to assign different values and try them out etc. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. By the time you do all this you're probably up to about 5 min on one question. My point is, backsolving is a great tool to have in your belt for situations where you can't find the answer by traditional means. I would say make sure you have some skill with backsolving, but don't rely on it. I really believe that if you get the concepts down and practice and your speed and accuracy that way, you will be much better off. I do believe that 90% of the problems you see on the real test should be solved through traditional means.

Also, I have seen your quant work in the math forum and I honestly think you will do extremely well on the real test. Have you taken any of the challenges? What percentile are you scoring on those. What are your quant scores like on your practice tests (Kaplan, Princeton Review, GMATprep)? If you are doing well on those, I think you are golden!! Hope this helps.
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04 Oct 2005, 08:23
chet719 wrote:

Also, I have seen your quant work in the math forum and I honestly think you will do extremely well on the real test. Have you taken any of the challenges? What percentile are you scoring on those. What are your quant scores like on your practice tests (Kaplan, Princeton Review, GMATprep)? If you are doing well on those, I think you are golden!! Hope this helps.

Thanks Chet for helping advice. I did not take any challenge so far. In fact, I havent done any preparation for quant except this forum. Anyway, I am not doing too well on practice tests. My quant scaled score was 40 when I tried my first Kaplan CAT last Sat. The ran out of time for atleast last 4-5 questions. I initially made strategy for allocating : 25 mins (first 10) + 20 (2nd 10) + 15 (3rd 10) + 15 (last 7). Do you see any problem in this? I will take your advice on backsolving as just a tool in your kitty. Thanks again.
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05 Oct 2005, 18:50
Fantastic story and fantastic score! You are an inspiration to us all!!!!
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17 Oct 2005, 08:45
I read this story daily and love it!

It truly is inspiring...
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26 Oct 2005, 15:34
Chet,

Congratulations! I got a similar score to your first score. I want to retake my GMAT in a month again. I am absolutely lost and don't know where to start to improve my abilities for the second round. Please let me know how did you prepare for the second time? How long did you study between the first test and your second test. Do you recommend taking any classes or get a private tutor.

Thank you.
Sara.
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26 Oct 2005, 15:57
sarav - first off, welcome to the club and congratulations on your first post! Stay active on this board and I'm positive it will help you. Everyone here has a great attitude and offers great advice. It's like a global team of GMAT experts!

I'm in your same shoes. I protracted my study period from 2 months to 6 months and know that contributed to my poor score. I was just burned out from studying and living at the library. This time around, I scheduled the test 31 days after my first day back (from my week off) - my test is on 11/10. Each day I do 20-30 PS & DS questions and supplement that with 5-10 questions each in RC, CR, and SC. Of course on the weekends I try to do a lot more.

My advice to you is take some time off (~1 week) and clear your mind. Then come back with a furious vengeance to conquer the test! Keep an error log and go to town on your weaknesses. Start with the basics and go from there.

Hang in there and don't give up! People generally say to plan for 2-3 attempts before you get the score you want so if you think about it, we just took a "warm up" test
26 Oct 2005, 15:57

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