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From 540 to 710 to 660 to 720

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Intern
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 21
Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT 1: 660 Q45 V35
GMAT 2: 720 Q47 V42
GPA: 3.53
WE: Business Development (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 4

From 540 to 710 to 660 to 720 [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2012, 08:18
Yes its possible...Just got out of the test center with a score of 720 (Q47 V42), the lowest in quant I have ever scored and the highest in verbal (after my score went up to 680 - 720 range).

I will follow up on this post (with a proper debrief) later but for now, thank you every one for all the material that you have posted here. This forum was very helpful, especially during the middle of the prep.

For now, time to crack my Johnnie Walker

Have a great evening.


I wrote a long debrief and got signed off the GMAT club...So the debrief is lost...Will get back to it some other time



---------------------------------------------------------------



Test Scores

The first GMAT practice CAT - Kaplan - 540 (you never forget your first)
MGMAT 1 530 (Q 29 V34)

First two low scores - not having enough time to work on last 10 quant questions

GMAT Prep 610
MGMAT 2 660 (Q46 V34)
GMAT Prep 640
MGMAT 3 630 (Q43 V33)
GMAT Prep - 710
GMAT Prep - 710
GMAT Prep - 710
1st GMAT - 660 (Q45 V35)

THEN 5 DAYS BEFORE GMAT

MGMAT 4 680 (Q48 V35)
MGMAT 5 710 (Q48 V39)
GMAT Prep 710 (Q50 V35) - I was quite hung over
MGMAT 6 720 (Q48 V40)
2nd GMAT 720 (Q47 V42)

Books Used in the order of use

MGMAT SC - I have always struggled with SC, this book is really worth all the praise it gets.

Kaplan Math Workbook and Kaplan Premier Quant section - Good to brush up math concepts, but I personally didnt think it was any more helpful than the Official Guides.

Official Guides (Verbal, Quant, and Review) - Closest to official Questions and by the time I got to revising from OG, I was quite familiar with the topics and felt more comfortable

I spent almost 200 hours on all the prep (including the exams) for the first GMAT. The first exam didn't go so well as I took it with an hour of sleep - night before nervousness destroyed my first GMAT.

Books after the first GMAT
SC Grail and Questionbank - I think the book, SC Grail, is quite useful especially if you dont want to go over the MGMAT SC book again. If my CR skills serve me right, this book is written by one of the GMAT club members from India. So be prepared to face bias towards Indian names in most of the examples and questions.

I personally think that the questionbank was a waste of money because there's a lot of free quesitonbanks on this website - such as the Sodenso's SC GMAT Prep questionbank. The question bank was also full of India related terms. This is not the case in the real exam and can really hurt a test taker. Now I know SC is about correcting the sentence but you can get a question wrong not because you didnt know the rules that apply but because you got distracted by the subject matter - a very frequent mistake when answering 700 level questions.

Whiplash's CR notes and SC notes + CR Question bank...

Selected questions from OGs and Kaplan (about 100 in total for both verbal and quant) and last 50 questions of OG Review for Quant.

I didnt register for the second exam until the week before the exam. I wanted to take it as soon as possible but had to wait for 31 days after the first exam as a GMAT policy. The second time around I was way relaxed...I probably spend 20 hours on studying and took four-five CATs w/o the AWA outside the 20 hours. I scheduled the exam for Tuesday after Easter and took Thursday the previous week off. I went out till late morning both on Saturday and Sunday and was quite chilled about the GMAT. THIS IS IN NO WAY AN ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE EXAM TAKERS because I do tend to sustain information for a relatively longer time and the prep from my first exam helped me get 700+ on practice tests..

Key Takeaways

Trust yourself - I am a guy who chose to be average at school and college, but to be active outside. I know that the secret to good grades in school was hard work - something I would do right before the exam and score decently well. So when I spent 200 hours on GMAT (the most I have spent on an exam), I was aiming for 700. I scored horribly in SATs and got into a good liberal arts college because of my interview with the Admissions officer and this was not going to happen everytime....The way I saw it, if I am prepared to take a hefty loan on my name for a sum between 0-150K, I need to be serious about what I am doing. And doing well on GMAT will prove to myself that I am serious. At the end of the day, I need to convince myself of my actions first...

Relax - After spending long hours studying for the exam. After missing out on dinners, parties, clubs, etc etc to focus on an exam, this exam becomes a big deal. But this exam is not an exam that tests your ability to learn and regurgitate, instead it tests your ability to learn and demystify a somewhat complex problem that (for probably 99% of the time) has a logical but simple solution. First time around I changed my life around this exam, I dont know what I was thinking eating fish in the morning. Anyway, all it did was create a big stress ball in my head and the ball burst the night before. Second time around, although I was relaxed, I didnt risk it, and took a sleeping pill Again, not an advice if you are fine with sleep.

Also, once you are crossing your 700+ point every time you take the exam, do not overdo it...If you are at your score level (on different GMAT CATs - lets say GMAT Prep and MGMAT) perhaps dont study much 2-3 days before the exam.


Last few questions and 5 minute timer - This is something that probably messed my quant score in the second GMAT. I was doing extremely well in Quant; I am pretty sure I got the first 10 correct, I got like two questions on probability and combinators, and a really complex figure for stat and I am quite sure I answered them correctly. I was way ahead of time until the last 5-7 questions. I stumbled upon a question that took about 5-7 minutes of my time. In retrospect it was very stupid of me to try to solve that question as I lost all my extra time on that question. I started rushing and then came the 5 minute timer with three questions to go. THe questions were still 600 level questions so I was quite happy, but there is something about the 5 minute timer that always scared me. I rushed and skipped and didnt reach an answer for any of the last three questions. PLEASE MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE WITH THE 5 MINUTE TIMER. Its very odd as it suddenly pops up. First thing in my mind then is, GO AWAY. So it can be quite distractive.


Full CAT Practice with 8 minutes break - For the second GMAT I didnt practice taking full time CAT and it was a horrendous mistake. I think I got comfortable with switching from Quant to Verbal but being a little overconfident about Quant, I never thought I would forget my strategies in Quant. As I mentioned I spent a lot of time on one of the lat 7 questions, I was surprised after the exam because I never spent that much time during practice. One thing I had trained myself to do was if its taking more than 2/3 minutes and you are not getting anywhere close, let it go. I didnt quite do that. Come to think of it, I spent more than 4 minutes on another question somewhere in the middle. So as repetitive as it may sound, please practice full CAT with 8 minutes break. You need to make yourself comfortable with the rules of the game to be able to play well.

Thats that. Anyway, its Sunday morning and I am not gonna lie, I am a little hung over so this post must contain many grammatical glitches.

Hope you all get what you want...

Cheers

PS: I printed and bound the SC Grail and Aristotle Questionbank + many other question banks for verbal and quant including the Sackmans Verbal bible. If you are interested in purchasing, please contact me directly.

Last edited by nhk13579 on 15 Apr 2012, 06:03, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: From 540 to 710 to 660 to 720 [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2012, 13:32
Congrats, How was the test relative to the prep exams?
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 21
Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT 1: 660 Q45 V35
GMAT 2: 720 Q47 V42
GPA: 3.53
WE: Business Development (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 4

Re: From 540 to 710 to 660 to 720 [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2012, 08:11
dchow23 wrote:
Congrats, How was the test relative to the prep exams?



GMAT Prep is probably the best representative for both Quant and Verbal....Dont stress yourself with tough Quant questions. GMAT test is more about using simple concepts in complex questions, I know Manhattan and Kaplan GMAT math questions are sometimes based on theories and formulas that are outside the scope of GMAT..At the same time verbal prep from MGMAT is great...
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Re: From 540 to 710 to 660 to 720 [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2012, 13:25
Wow, I greatly respect your persistence. Very admirable.
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Re: From 540 to 710 to 660 to 720 [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2012, 13:42
Keep it up. Congratulations.
Re: From 540 to 710 to 660 to 720   [#permalink] 11 Apr 2012, 13:42
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