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GMAT 710 (Q49, V38)

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Current Student
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Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 124
Schools: Ross Class of 2012
WE 1: Consumer Goods / IT
WE 2: Retail / Logistics
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 36 [0], given: 8

GMAT Tests User
GMAT 710 (Q49, V38) [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 11:32
I just walked out of the Pearson examination center with a smile on my face. It's a great feeling to see the fruits of your labor finally pay off after three months of preparation time. Although I was aiming for a score of 740~750, any score over 700 would have made me happy. Anyway, I'll try to relay my experience in the hopes that this will aid others in their preparation.

Background

I travel for about 52 weeks a year and spend more time in the airports than my apartment. I had taken the GMAT about two years ago and had gotten a score of 650 (Q45, V34 AWA 4.5), so I knew I had to make some changes to my preparation this time around. Also, last time I had paid for the Kaplan course, which did not help me too much. Throughout the course I was scoring in the 700s however, I found the math too easy and the verbal too difficult to help me pin point my exact problem areas. Added to this was the fact that I did not take the test too seriously and there was a two month gap between my last Kaplan test and the actual GMAT. From my experience, I don't recommend Kaplan.

Preparation

This time I did not have the time nor the money to afford another class so I went about creating my own path. My overall preparation time was about 16 weeks and a cost of about $400 (including the $250 for the test). I broke up my preparation into 4 week chunks. The first four weeks was a brush up on concepts followed by a diagnostic test. The next four I focused on Verbal, then on Math and finally kept taking tests the final four weeks. I also created a spreadsheet to help me keep track of all my mistakes. I also bought the Official Guides and both the supplements. Surprisingly, Kaplan had never mentioned using these tools and I found this the single most beneficial book.

Verbal

My primary focus was on Sentence Correction because I knew this was the make or break section for me. The spreadsheet helped me improve my score from about 65% to 90%. I used the OG and the verbal supplement and practiced each question (Sentence Correction twice). I strongly recommend keeping track of mistakes as this will help you focus on the areas you need to improve on.

Additional resources: http://owl.english.purdue.edu (a good resource for understanding grammar rules)

Quantitative

Again, I followed the same strategy as the verbal and practiced all the questions from the OG and the supplement. In addition, I had discovered GMAT Club Tests. I strongly recommend anyone who is scoring about 45 in practice tests to use the GMAT club tests to boost your Q score by about 4~5 points. Also, don't be discouraged by your results in these tests, I was averaging about 22 to 23 correct questions in my tests till the very end when I started getting about 27~30 questions right.

AWA

Go through the guide by chineseburned. I am attaching the link because I had to search for this guide about 20 times before I found it (1-p513672?t=64327&hilit=+chineseburned#p513672). Also, if you have the time (my last two weeks of preparation), write a few essays from the Official Guide.

Practice Tests

The $39 I paid MGMAT for their tests was the best investment I could make. I found these to be the closest to the real deal (from my experience with Kaplan) and a little tougher than the actual tests. The good thing about these tests is that the quantitative section is challenging, almost like the GMAT club tests. Also the verbal concepts they test really help in raising your overall score. The other good thing is that they have an extensive database to pull out 700-800 level questions. There are only 6 tests, so once I completed the first 6, I reset the pool and for the last two weeks I did one test every 2 days.

A big note to everyone, download and practice the GMAT Prep tests. I think this has been the common theme in everyone's debrief and I can see why. While the questions are very similar to the OG and supplements, it is pretty close to the real thing. I don't know which test is harder, the GMAT or GMAT Prep, either way it gives a clear understanding of where one stands.

Here are my scores on the practice tests:
MGMAT 1 650 (Q47, V32)
MGMAT 2 680 (Q43, V39)
MGMAT 3 640 (Q43, V35)
MGMAT 4 710 (Q45, V41)
MGMAT 5 690 (Q46, V38)
MGMAT 6 680 (Q49, V34)

GMAT Prep 1 680
GMAT Prep 2 750
GMAT Prep 1 (Retake) 740

Actual GMAT 710 (Q49, V38)

G-Day

The night before I did not do much preparation. I went through a couple of essays, but in the end decided to watch a French action movie, District B13 (I don't understand French but the action made it worth it), and then Scarface. My exam was scheduled for 8 AM. I am not a morning person by anyone's stretch of imagination, but this was the only date I could take the exam without it conflicting with my work for this year. I woke up early around 530, practiced a couple of challenge questions from MGMAT to get my mind thinking, did the SC quiz on GMAT Prep and then played the guitar for ten minutes. I got to the test center about 30 minutes before the test with two bananas and a starbucks coffee. 4 and a half hours later, I walked out with my unofficial score report and a smile.

Key Takeaways

One word: Practice
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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Joined: 02 Nov 2008
Posts: 283
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 2

GMAT Tests User
Re: GMAT 710 (Q49, V38) [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 11:40
Congrats. Did you use additional resources to improve in SC?
Current Student
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Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 124
Schools: Ross Class of 2012
WE 1: Consumer Goods / IT
WE 2: Retail / Logistics
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 36 [0], given: 8

GMAT Tests User
Re: GMAT 710 (Q49, V38) [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 11:59
No I didn't use additional resources. In hindsight, it would have probably helped if I had read the MGMAT SC book, but the OG books are good enough to identify common mistakes and coming up with strategies to tackle SC.
Intern
Intern
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Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 13
Location: India
Concentration: Marketing, Strategy
GMAT 1: 670 Q36 V47
GPA: 3.2
WE: Marketing (Advertising and PR)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 0

Re: GMAT 710 (Q49, V38) [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 12:34
you have the exact score as me.. what are the odds?
please tell me you didnt take the test on 8th, starting about 8 am GMT!!

congratulations ...
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 124
Schools: Ross Class of 2012
WE 1: Consumer Goods / IT
WE 2: Retail / Logistics
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 36 [0], given: 8

GMAT Tests User
Re: GMAT 710 (Q49, V38) [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 13:20
Haha... Congrats on the score... I took the GMAT Jan 10th at 8 AM ET exactly 53 hours after yours...
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 124
Schools: Ross Class of 2012
WE 1: Consumer Goods / IT
WE 2: Retail / Logistics
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 36 [0], given: 8

GMAT Tests User
Re: GMAT 710 (Q49, V38) [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 14:00
This is how my actual GMAT went

AWA

Both my essay's were in the OG. My advice on this section is practice the structure of the essay ahead of time and go prepared with a couple of examples for your issues essay. Mine was pretty straight forward, but I think I goofed up on a couple of points. After the AWA, I took the 10 minute break finished my coffee and pretty much came right back to the test.

Quantitative

I started off pretty slow and took my time for the first 12 questions (I was 2 minutes behind). I also noticed that after about the 10th question things started to get a little trickier but nothing out of the ordinary so I began to speed things up. After about Q 19 I began to doubt myself because some questions seemed to be easy I thought I was making careless mistakes (my downfall last time around). So I began to recheck my answers. This was a big mistake as I was behind the clock again. It got pretty bad by the end of it, and I was pretty sure I bombed the Quantitative (I had to guess the last three questions). I took my 10 minute break again ate the banana.

Verbal

I found this a little easier than the Quant. SC and CR were pretty straight forward and the first two RC passages were easy. Things got tricky once I went past the second RC with tougher CRs and SCs coming my way. The third RC passage (long one) was a tough science passage, and I couldn't read the whole thing properly. The good thing about Verbal was that I was on track with the time. Once I went past the RC, the questions were a little bit easier. Although I had to guess on the last three questions, by the end of it I was pretty sure of my score in Verbal (expecting around 40).

I would have liked a score of 740, but in the end I was just relieved that the test was over and then, when I saw the score, happy with 710. Now for the hard part of filling out applications for b-schools... Hopefully class of 2012.
Director
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Joined: 29 Aug 2005
Posts: 881
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Kudos [?]: 140 [0], given: 7

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Re: GMAT 710 (Q49, V38) [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2009, 14:53
sharmar wrote:
...then played the guitar for ten minutes.


What do you suggest to those who can't play guitar? :)

Congrats with the score!
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Joined: 02 Nov 2008
Posts: 283
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Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 2

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Re: GMAT 710 (Q49, V38) [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2009, 01:06
botirvoy wrote:
sharmar wrote:
...then played the guitar for ten minutes.


What do you suggest to those who can't play guitar? :)

Congrats with the score!


exercise
Re: GMAT 710 (Q49, V38)   [#permalink] 11 Jan 2009, 01:06
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