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From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved

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From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2009, 20:38
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Yesterday, on my second attempt, I crossed my target score of 700 and put an end to my GMAT writing career.
Thanks to all of those on this forum who answered my questions and to those who posted their questions.

Here is my debrief:
First attempt was in Aug and ended up with a miserable 590(Q42, V32). I decided to take some time to prepare and get back to the basics, for I realized that GMAT can kick you butt if you don't grasp the basics.

Material Used:
OG11
Quant and Verbal Supplements
LSAT material for RC and CR
PowerScore CR Bible
RC1000, CR1000
GMATPREP SC and Brutal SC documents
GMATPREP and GMATFocus
GMATCLUB tests

Quant
Primarily used Gmatclub tests and GMAT Focus for practice. GMATFocus is a bit expensive, but I would highly recommend if you want to see the same problem types as the real test. Took the GMATPREP tests four times before the real test.
In my opinion, OG11 is just the starting point, and one has to practice Quant under timed conditions and this is where GMATClub and GMATFocus help tremendously.

Sentence Correction
SC on the GMAT is on a different level compared to OG and GMATPREP. Be sure to start with the basics and practice a lot. MGMAT SC bible is one of the better books for the basics. But, the way verbal is getting harder and harder these days, I believe we would have to supplement with another English sentence book that is more thorough.
Reviewed GMATPrep SC document and Brutal SC's on the days before the test.

RC and CR
Despite what others have said here before, I feel that one can improve RC performance drastically. I used LSAT RCs for practice and once you are able to score reasonably well on the LSAT RC's (60-70%), GMAT RC's will be a lot easier. I went from 50% accuracy to 90% accuracy after using LSAT RCs. Be sure to practice active reading and be super focused on the passage. One needs to also be able to recognize the changes in context and tone of the sentences. This is where GMAT catches a lot of people. For CR, I started with Powerscore bible that helps you with identifying question and answer types.

Practice Scores
GMATPREP1 #1 - 710
GMATPREP1 #2 - 750
GMATPREP2 #1 - 750
GMATPREP2 #2 - 760
Several GMATClub tests all in the 23-27 range

Test Day
Some of the Quant questions rattled me. I saw question types on the test that I never saw in any of the practices. There was this nasty geometry one that was a combination of rectangle, isosceles triangle and parallelogram areas type question.
But, at the same time there were also questions that weren't much different from GMATPREP and GMATFocus. One of the good things that I did on the Quant was to be in control of the time. The penalty for unanswered questions is quite severe, I had learnt this the hard way in my first attempt. So make sure to answer them all.

For sure, there are going to be questions that you cannot solve in 2 minutes and as a result you have to pick your battles with GMAT. There were a couple of times that I had no clue how to approach and I ended up making educated guesses and moved on.

As with many other folks, verbal is the challenging part for me. And GMAT put me through hell me on verbal section. I saw the 700 goal turning into a mirage on a couple of questions. Picking the right answer for some of the SC's and RC's was like pulling teeth. Finally, I had to answer the last 10 questions in under 10 minutes and this is where all the practice helps you.

After the last question, I sat there for a few minutes considering whether I should cancel the score, because I was convinced I had screwed up my verbal. I am glad I didn't

Final Notes to Test Takers
Learn your basics and practice rigorously
Familiarize yourself with the question types and answers, especially on the CR
Pick your battles. Don't spend too much time on any one question

Last edited by kman on 17 Feb 2009, 06:51, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: From 590 to 710, Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2009, 20:45
Great Improvement..
Excellent Score!!! congratulations!!

Nice tips..

Good luck with your applications.
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Re: From 590 to 710, Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2009, 22:03
Well done KMAN
Great score...........U gave me a reason to fight against the GMAT again !!!

Good going....
Can you suggest me how to improve my maths skill, I am not able to get past 30 in QA and DS is the biggest challenge for me, bcoz i can't identify traps in the DS questions.

And If you have the powerscore bible CR soft copy can you please share it......

Thanks in advance
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Re: From 590 to 710, Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2009, 06:33
Hey Kman,
Congrats ... great score. all the best with your applications ...

did u try gmatclub verbal tests as well?

can you write ur individual scores on the gmat exam?..

Thanks for the tips..
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2009, 06:58
Thanks Suresh, Gurpreet, Ugimba.

Gurpreet: Have you tried to maintain an error log. For most, mistakes in quant are due to silly mistakes and missing what what the question is asking, etc.. Quant generally improves with practice.
I used Powerscore hard copy.

Ugimba: I used only the quant tests in gmatclub. Scores updated
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2009, 00:30
Thanks very much for the tips!
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2009, 00:47
Good tips. Good luck on your applications!
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2009, 07:18
What’s up kman? Great job!!!

I see that you are in Dallas just like me! I’m actually scheduled to take my exam at the center near HW 635 and HW 75.

I took the 7 week veritas course back in November, in which I don’t think I got much out of it to be perfectly honest. But on the flip side, the books and practice from the course have helped out tremendously.

Kman, I need your advice on something: how did you manage your study time? As of now, I’m managing about 2 hours a day on the weekdays and about 5 hours on Saturdays.

The struggle for me is that I work about 40-45 hours a week and by the time I get home, it’s a challenge to get in all the study time I want before I have to crash for the next day for work…..

Any advice?

Btw, I’m scheduled to take my exam March 26th…….
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2009, 18:18
embrya2k wrote:
What’s up kman? Great job!!!

I see that you are in Dallas just like me! I’m actually scheduled to take my exam at the center near HW 635 and HW 75.

I took the 7 week veritas course back in November, in which I don’t think I got much out of it to be perfectly honest. But on the flip side, the books and practice from the course have helped out tremendously.

Kman, I need your advice on something: how did you manage your study time? As of now, I’m managing about 2 hours a day on the weekdays and about 5 hours on Saturdays.

The struggle for me is that I work about 40-45 hours a week and by the time I get home, it’s a challenge to get in all the study time I want before I have to crash for the next day for work…..

Any advice?

Btw, I’m scheduled to take my exam March 26th…….


Thanks, embrya2k, I have a job that requires constant travelling. Last three weeks before the exam I started refusing to travel and I actually took off the week before the exam. I used to study ~ 2 hours on weekdays and a full 7-8 hours on the weekend. I was lucky because, my wife took care of lot of the stuff around the house, so that I can study...
Make a plan and stick to it as much as possible, Agree, its challenging to prepare for an exam such as GMAT with a full time job. But, if we are aspiring to join MBA, I guess we are gonna have to squeeze enough hours out of every day.
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2009, 20:23
Thanks, embrya2k, I have a job that requires constant travelling. Last three weeks before the exam I started refusing to travel and I actually took off the week before the exam. I used to study ~ 2 hours on weekdays and a full 7-8 hours on the weekend. I was lucky because, my wife took care of lot of the stuff around the house, so that I can study...
Make a plan and stick to it as much as possible, Agree, its challenging to prepare for an exam such as GMAT with a full time job. But, if we are aspiring to join MBA, I guess we are gonna have to squeeze enough hours out of every day.[/quote]


Hi Kman,

you've inspired me. I got the exact same score you got the first time. i also wrote around august. can you comment a little more on practice exams. did you use mgmat? i think i def underestimated the verbal, you think the lsat passages can make a huge difference then? did you use them in timed conditions?
thanks for your help, congrats on the great score!
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2009, 19:56
ca_gold wrote:
Thanks, embrya2k, I have a job that requires constant travelling. Last three weeks before the exam I started refusing to travel and I actually took off the week before the exam. I used to study ~ 2 hours on weekdays and a full 7-8 hours on the weekend. I was lucky because, my wife took care of lot of the stuff around the house, so that I can study...
Make a plan and stick to it as much as possible, Agree, its challenging to prepare for an exam such as GMAT with a full time job. But, if we are aspiring to join MBA, I guess we are gonna have to squeeze enough hours out of every day.



Hi Kman,

you've inspired me. I got the exact same score you got the first time. i also wrote around august. can you comment a little more on practice exams. did you use mgmat? i think i def underestimated the verbal, you think the lsat passages can make a huge difference then? did you use them in timed conditions?
thanks for your help, congrats on the great score![/quote]

ca_gold,
I did take a few MGMAT tests. As I took more, my score improved. Verbal is easy to underestimate, but needs lots of practice. LSAT helps, but be selective while using LSAT. There are a lot of question types in LSAT CR especially, that don't appear on the GMAT. Just look for regular stuff such as weaken, strengthen, assumptions etc. Like I mentioned, LSAT RCs helped me. You can try a few and see if it works for you. Good luck
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2012, 18:44
Hii

Really encouraging! I took my first attempt last week and scored a miserable 590(Q44,V27). I was completely shattered as i had prepared hard for 1 month and all my mock test scores ranged around 640-680. After reading your post, i am planning to take the GMAT again. And i hope to get 700+ this time! Please guide me on the material that i should use. For the first attempt i had used OG12 and GMAT club grammar book.
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2012, 15:18
Swatis6 - I am in the same boat as you, although my practice exam scores aren't as high.

Hopefully we can find an answer.
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Re: From 590 to 710 (Q50, V38), Target Achieved   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2012, 15:18
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