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GMAT Experience - 750 (Q-50, V-42, AWA 6.0)

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Schools: Columbia Business School '13
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GMAT Experience - 750 (Q-50, V-42, AWA 6.0) [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2010, 13:23
First of all, thanks to all the GMATclub folks. This site rocks and is full of great tips and resources.

I started a somewhat drawn out GMAT prep program in late December '09. Purchased all the OG material and some old ManhattanGMAT books on craigslist. Jumped right in to practice problems and while I was certainly cognizant of what I was missing and why, I didn't have a great deal of metrics. I found a great error log on this site - I think it was "Friendly Error Log" or something. I used this and with the information in the ManhattanGMAT stuff, was able to tag just about every question. I spent the last week or so solely doing practice tests and looking at incorrect practice questions.

As far as the actual test went - here goes:
I had an 8 am test time on Saturday. Not ideal for me as I'm not a morning person, but whatever it was all I could get. Got to the test site early, I was ready to rock and roll. While waiting to do all the pre-test stuff, this girl who was taking the MCAT was freaking out because she brought her notes and water to the test site. When told she couldn't have either, I think she nearly had an aneurism. She couldn't comprehend the fact that she couldn't have water during the test. After finally getting that she needed to put her water in the locker, she turns to me and asks me if I think she needs her ID. I really hope this girl isn't an ER doctor someday. Anyway, thought it was funny but her stress levels I think were starting to stress out everyone else.

AWA went as expected, pretty straightforward. Looking back, its nice to have the AWA first so you can work out your nerves. I looked at the how to get a 6.0 guide here on gmatclub a couple of times before the test, and wrote the AWA on one of my GMATPrep tests. I don't think it makes a lot sense to spend an inordinate amount of time here.

Quant
While working through the quant, I remember thinking to myself that I wasn't doing that great. I think I guessed correctly on a couple because I was usually hitting around 48 on my practice tests. Although, I will say that my biggest problem in quant was careless errors as opposed to not knowing how to approach a problem. I don't remember any combination or permutation questions. Very heavy on number property, particularly DS.

Verbal
I thought that I was doing really great in verbal. In my GMATPrep tests I was getting 45 and 47, so I was a bit disappointed with the 42. In all my practice tests, I always had a ton of time at the end of verbal. I read a GMAT Experience post a couple of weeks ago and the advice was to really take my time. I think I took too much time. I remember looking at some RC questions for a while. I spent a ton of time trying to perfect SC, so I could run through SC pretty quickly. Maybe that played a role, I don't know. Tricky RC questions, some strange SC, but CR was straight forward.

Advice & Materials:
1. Keep an Error Log, its crucial
2. Manhattan SC is the truth. Read it. Twice or more.
3. Use GMATClub - Question of the day, forum, tests - wonderful resource
4. After you've got your fundamentals down, use a timer. It's good to get a general sense in timing.
5. ManhattanGMAT Number Properties and Equations books are great - know these
6. Buy the ManhattanGMAT practice tests - you get 6 for like $36, good deal. Very hard, especially quant.


I was striking about 90% on all my OG practice questions, but had a some issues with SC. With enough practice, I actually became pretty strong in SC. Make sure you walk yourself through the actual structure of the sentence. What's the subject? What does this phrase modify?

Practice Test Results:
Manhattan GMAT 1 - 4/2/10 43Q, 40V - 690. Brutally tough quant
Manhattan GMAT 2 - 4/10/10 46Q, 40V - 700
Manhattan GMAT 3 - 5/10/10 46Q, 45V - 740
Manhattan GMAT 4 - 5/16/10 47Q, 36V - 680 - Not sure what happened here on V
Manhattan GMAT 5 - 6/7/10 - 47Q, 40V - 710
Manhattan GMAT 6 - 6/16/10 - 47Q, 45V - 740

GMATPrep 1 - about a week before the test - I think I had a 48Q, 47V or something - 760.

Good luck to all those taking or re-taking the test.
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Re: GMAT Experience - 750 (Q-50, V-42, AWA 6.0) [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2010, 13:33
Great Debrief! :)

You mentioned starting preparation in December. How was your schedule generally planned out? Did you have a lot of breaks in your study or did you do consistent preparation throughout? I am scheduling my GMAT for December as well and I just thought I'd like the advice of someone who spanned their prep out over 5-6 months as well.
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Re: GMAT Experience - 750 (Q-50, V-42, AWA 6.0) [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2010, 13:47
Yea I think my problem was that I waited so long to schedule the test. Looking back, I should have said ok I'm taking this test in 8 weeks no matter what. Instead, I waited until May to actually schedule the test. Yes, I did start in late December and was able to get some solid work in over the Christmas holiday. For the most part, on Mondays and Wednesdays I'd go the gym near my office, then come back and spend like an hour and a half doing practice problems, reading ManhattanGMAT, this forum, etc. On the weekends, I'd probably get another 1.5-2hrs. No idea on how many hours I put in, but probably on par with what I did for the various CFA tests. You definitely dont need 6 months, but in my case, the timing just worked out that way. I'm cheap, so I wanted to minimize the chance of having to cough up another $250 to re-take.
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Re: GMAT Experience - 750 (Q-50, V-42, AWA 6.0) [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2010, 04:11
ckgriffi, congratulations on your score and thank you for posting your experience. Could you please answer the following questions:

1) Could you describe your preparation in greater detail? How did you study math and verbal? What was your level before you began studying?

2) Could you describe you daily study routine in greater detail?

3) How did you deal with fatigue when studying, esp. after work?

4) Could you please describe your revision strategy?

5) How confident were you after finishing your preparation and what about your confidence on the test day?
Re: GMAT Experience - 750 (Q-50, V-42, AWA 6.0)   [#permalink] 26 Jun 2010, 04:11
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