Full Debrief: 580 to 690 Q48 V37, ~5month, Retake?
Ok word of warning, this is a friggin long post, but I like to be through, hehe. I will be truly impressed if you say for the whole thing!
Hey all, you can see my in flight story here: my-gmat-journey-580-to-660-to-650-to-700-to-113059.html
For the sake of simplicity, I will repost some of that content and add some updates:
#1 MGMAT: Q44 V26 580 3/6/11
#2 MGMAT: Q44 V36 660 3/27/11
#3 MGMAT: Q43 V36 650 4/9/11
#4 MGMAT: Q44 V40 700 4/30/11
#5 MGMAT: Q47 V40 710 5/14/11
#6 MGMAT: Q43 V41 700 5/22/11
#7 GMAT Prep#1: Q47 V35 670 5/28/11
#8 GMAT Prep#2: Q44 V38 660 5/30/11GMAT: Q48 V37 690 5/31/11May
: This was one tough month. We are talking 3 hrs weekday, 8+ hours Sat, 8+ hours Sun. Took 2 CATs and 2 GMATPrep tests
in May. Towards the end of May I was doing about 1 GC test a day. Ended up doing about half of them. I think GC tests alone made my score go up from 44 to 48.Test Day Experience:
Arrived at test center about 1 hr early, as planned. Did some warmups in the car (listing 2^2, 2^3, etc. 30-60-90 triangles and side relationships, etc, etc.). Did some easy OG12
PS probs. Did some easy OG12
Went to test center, did the whole check in process. Got me a pair of cheap earplugs and went to assigned station. Did all the pre-test crap. Jumped into AWA. While I was hammering away at AWA, I started preparing myself for quant. Breezed through AWA with confidence, and probably wrote my best pieces yet. Hehe - Spent about 1% of total study time dedicated to AWA, which is what people say it deserves anyways. Funny how this part of the test is so unstressful.
Finished AWA, took break. These breaks go by freaking fast. Only had time to run to bathroom and scarf down, more like inhale a snickers bar. Washed it down with some water and poweraid, headed back in for Quant.
This was the best Quant experience I have ever had while testing. Calm, confident, collected and in control all of the time, I felt like I was gliding through these problems. Not with 100% confidence that I got everything right, but confidence, you know? Like a comfort with my process and answers, and did not get a prob where I took 3 to 5 mins, etc. After Quant, I felt like this was probably my best effort to date, so was pretty stoked. I had felt I had got above 47, potentially a 49 50. Pretty happy at this point. Took my break, ran to bathroom. Didn't pick up anything to eat before returning to verbal, which maybe I should have.
Started Verbal. Psyched myself up thinking that I could bag a great score after the Q performance. Plodded through questions. I met this really ugly verbal RC question, which I think I may have only seen once. Can't get into too much detail, but lets say it is one of those really rare problems that makes the RC problem more of a Quant problem. It sucked and I took prob 3 mins on this one, still don't know if I got it right. Maybe this was a 700-800 bucket prob? who knows. Continue to plod, started to get fatigued by question 20. CR didn't register or click as usual, the RC passages were really REALLLY dry, had to really concentrate to get through. Working through SC probs, I usually had either nothing that looked good or like 2 that looked good. And then, I freaking met another one of those quant-ish RC problems as listed above. Struggled to finish, slightly discouraged. Knew I was cutting it close to my 700+ goal.
Click click click through the survey garbage and Poof. 5 hours of hard work for a 3 digit number. Mine was 690.
Now here is where I had very mixed feelings. I am sure many people have had my same complex. A 690 is just not a 700. It is silly, it is stupid, it is ~2 percentile points in difference. But it just isnt the same. I feel like it is a psychological thing, much like why everything is $699 not $700, you know what I mean, but in this case lower is worse.
Needless to say I am very conflicted right now and not satisfied with my score. I think if I had got 720 and up I'd still be jumping up and down, 710, solidly happy, 700 satisfied, 680 or less, wouldn't brood about it, I would just retake without thinking. But nope. 690 is just RIGHT THERE in that no mans land in my brain. So I finished the GMAT test, but I don't feel like I got the GMAT Monkey off my back if you know what I mean. Just very frustrating overall. Interested in your thoughts. Should I retake? Retake in 30-50 days? Retake in Aug/Sept after the bulk of my apps are on their way? Just suck it up and don't retake, focus on apps?
I have been doing some reading about retaking and I notice that 690 puts you "in the realm" for top 10, but of course higher is better. It is not generally recommended to retake a 690, but then it sucks to be at the bottom of the average admitted class from an app perspective, right? Adding insult to injury, I think the curve has gone up so once upon a time, Q48 V37 was a 700, but now it is a 690. Also, from what I read, the unofficial is 99% correct, and I don't think anyone had received anything else than what was on the unofficial report. Another thought that bugs me is that 690 seems like one of those things that people talk about like, in spite of. Like, you hear stories of "oh yea this guy got in X with a 690!" but like in a negative way, like it was something that was dragging them down.
So yea it is still pretty raw and fresh so would love to hear your comments.
My goals are top10 schools for 2012 matriculation
, with UCLA and USC as safeties, but lets face it, Stanford is my #1, and I want to "leave it all on the field" in this app season. I am aiming all R1, so due dates in early/mid Oct 2011.
Some minor info into my bg:
Asian American Male (Chinese born in US)
~3.3 GPA from UCSD, Biochemistry and Cell biology (one major)
Minors in Economics and Music (two minors)
4 years w/e in multiple roles for a major biotech/med devices company. I was actually in this rotational leadership program so I got to see 3 different sites and am now working "full time" at final spot for the past 2 years (side note, this program is meant for people with MA, MS, MBA, PHD, etc. which the program is now filled with. Somehow I got in with a BS and my smile, so perhaps they saw something they liked during interview to break this pretty golden rule. Who knows). Current role is "drug trafficking" in a nutsell, concerned about product integrity, manage product launches (physical aspect), distribution centers, write business rules/procedures, very operational and quality focused. I am not in logistics but get a lot of experience in this area, not a science role, more "management". No direct reports as of yet, but as soon as budgeting goes through... Make multimillion dollar product decisions (usually dispositions or otherwise) pretty routinely. Sometimes this involves assessing integrity issues as well. Shit gets hairy real fast (all of our products are life and death types, and very expensive to add to the complication), but I think this high pressure stuff is among the more enjoyable things that I do, and pretty darn transferrable to a positive attribute.
I believe I am confident in saying that my peers and boss value my contributions and the rec letter quality will be EXCELLENT.
Rubber stamp extracur (I do honestly enjoy them, they are just not "unique") - Environmental beach cleanup work (low level leader in a huge org), and tutoring "underserved community" kids for free through library. Again, these are pretty standard, but I genuinely enjoy them and have a history of these types of activities since high school, so the picture will be coherent and not as "sketch" as just someone rubberstamping just for the sake of checking the box. Perhaps I will try to expand this area with something more unique.
Going to throw this up again in the "rate my profile" section but wanted to share a bit in light of my recently obtained score.
Anyways, if you read this far, this is where I have been and where I am coming from. A thousand thank yous to the GC community and the Mods. Truly a great resource, and I am glad that it looks like this is a revenue generating enterprise (dont think I didnt notice the GC test price increase, and the GC app price increase
Until next time!