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Hello GMATers. As a veteran of the GMAT battle awarded the order of 730 (50Q, 38V) November 2002, I testifyтАж I donтАЩt think any prep book says it, but I personally found it very helpful to have benchmarks while preparing for the test. They are important to track your progress and compare your results against the results of other test takers who eventually scored at about the same level you are aiming at. I used PowerPrep as one of the benchmarks. Unfortunately, it has only 2 tests. So you cannot waste it and need to use it really wisely cause this is the best indicator of your actual score level. Do not take the PowerPrep tests before you get well acquainted with the test structure and question types and before you brush up on your math and grammar. I used KaplanтАЩs 2003 book to learn the strategies and review math and grammar and I think this is the best book. I would say, you need to spend not more than 2 weeks on this kind of GMAT orientation. Then after this brief desk study, take the first PowerPrep test. I scored 650 (48,31) on the first test while my desired score was 720-730. Compare your score to the desired, identify your problem areas in general. Like in my case, it was the Verbal section. And plan your studies, develop timings and go ahead. Take the second PowerPrep test when you think that you have done pretty much everything to raise you score but still have some time left before the date you are going to take the real test. I scored 700 (49, 37) on the second PowerPrep test. Actually, basing on my personal experience and experience of a few other people, you may add up to 20-30 points to your PowerPrep score to see what the score would be if you took the actual GMAT.
As you can see, my studies brought me 50 points on top. It took me about 3 months to raise the score by these 50 points. If you do not raise your score, it would be a good indicator that you do something wrong, concentrate on the wrong areas, do not study regularly or something like that.
But if you use another set of benchmarks along with the PowerPrep, you will learn about the effectiveness of your studies earlier and will have enough time and enough information on your strong and weak points to adapt and perfection your study plan.
4 CATтАЩs on the CD provided with the KaplanтАЩs 2003 book may be used as a set of benchmarks. ItтАЩs not that I am so crazy about benchmarking that I forget about other aspects of the prep tests, but other advantages of taking as many CATтАЩs as possible are pretty obvious. I just want to stress that it is very important to track your progress and use the tests as indicators of your strengths and weaknesses, and see if your study plan is any good and whether you do not waste your time.
Kaplan tests offer a very thorough report on your results. The reports show how well you are at timing your test and how well you do on each type of the questions. So, take the first KaplanтАЩs CAT right after you take the first PowerPrep. Do not be shocked when you score significantly less on the KaplanтАЩs test. I scored 550 on my first Kaplan, which is 100 points less than on my first PowerPrep. KaplanтАЩs tests are underscored. I would say the verbal section on KaplanтАЩs is more difficult than on the real test; however, math is very close to the real. Take those 4 tests systematically. I mean if you, for example, have 3 - 4 months till the official test, you may take one test every 3 weeks, or you may take them each time you finish a certain round of your preparation studies if you broke them into units or something like that. On my last KaplanтАЩs test I scored 620. Add about a 100 to your KaplanтАЩs score to adapt its score to the official GMAT.
Finally, get advice from the right people on what strategies or prep materials to use. Before you ask for their advice, ask about their score history, math, verbal, what were their strong and weak points, etc. I donтАЩt think it would be very wise to use strategies or study plans or prep materials that were very helpful to a person who progressed from 550 to 650, for instance, while your current PowerPrep score is 650 and you desire 750. It might be a waste of time and money. If someone recommends you the Princeton Review book to learn the strategies, chances are the advisor didnтАЩt score higher than 650. Or, contrarily, if your friend tells you KaplanтАЩs GMAT 800 was a very good book, chances are your friend aimed at 750+, donтАЩt rush to purchase the book if you do not need a score that high.
Anyway, if anybody wants to use me as a benchmark or an advisor, I donтАЩt mind . I am willing to share my experience so long as my memories of the test are fresh and I am still able to recall what I did right or wrong .
that was pretty useful; was wondering if anyone else has info on how kaplan cat test scores compare with ETS - i got over 720 on ets but always around 590-610 on 4 kaplan tests. heard you should add approx. 30 to kaplan / that you score between kaplan&ETS. so which is it? any help appreciated, taking test on Dec 19!!!! :
I took my GMAT and scored 640 , my verbal score was 28 and quant was 49. I have finished almost all the materials -- Kaplan, ETS, princeton and arco. My last scores on kaplan and princeton were 620 and 730 respectively. And I got almost all the sentence correction questions correct on Kaplan800 book. I was doing well in exam but I dont know why I cud not get the desired score( 700+) .
I think the problem is with reading comprehension. Can you please advice how to overcome this problem.
Is there any stratergy that has to be followed while doing the test?
For example, kap says that the first few questions make a lot of difference on your score. Do you know the number of questions that has to be correct in order to get around 730?
If I concentrate on the first say 20 questions and try to make it completely correct and just answer the others , can I reach this target?
Hi, Is there any stratergy that has to be followed while doing the test? For example, kap says that the first few questions make a lot of difference on your score. Do you know the number of questions that has to be correct in order to get around 730? If I concentrate on the first say 20 questions and try to make it completely correct and just answer the others , can I reach this target?
Or am I dreaming too much?
I can tell you that I have messed up question 12 on my test and still was able to get 49 on math.
Your strategy is not very clear to me, but I think I know a way for you to test it. After you take Power Prep, you can experiment with it and try to answer first 20 questions correctly and then make a mistake in a)every question b)every other question c)every one out of 3 questions
The idea sounds cool to me, so if you could measure those and post the results on this forum, it would be great.
Last edited by bb on 21 Jun 2004, 10:15, edited 1 time in total.
But there is a problem. I have only 2 power prep tests.I cannot use this up. I will try out this Kaplan Diagnostic Test.The questions that come are fixed. It does not go about changing. So I will try out with that and then give the results. You will be knowing how to map the results with the original test.
Also, I want some info regarding the schools that provide scholarship for international students with a score of around 680-740 .
With gpa 3.85 and 2 years work experience.
I wrote the test in October, scoring 640(48, 29, 6), retaking it in Feb, so I guess I can answer your queries:
1). First 5-10 questions count more in the sense that they are the ones which determine your score range, so assuming you answer first 5 questions correctly, the order of questions would go higher in difficulty and you would get more challenging questions , till you incorrect and so on. So by 10th-15th question your score range is already determined, what you get from 15 onwards would be questions of less difficulty. HOWEVER, if you plan a stretegy of correcting only first 20 questions, and leaving/just skimming through the rest, then your score will again go down drastically. The catch is that there is HEAVY penalty for leaving questions unasnswered and moreoever your answering all questions incorrectly after lets say 2oth question would again let you down. Ideal strategy followed is to devote some more time to first lets say 10 questions and then progress faster.
The QUANTITATIVE section is harder than it is in the Official guide. I followed Kaplan, Official guide,PR. The first 5-10 questions you get are harder than found in any of the above books. However if you mess up in first 5, you would not know that you get more diifcult questions then above books.
3). If your Criteria is to get scholarship, then most of it is influenced by your gmat and academics. But do not expect this from atleast top 10-15 ranked schools. There you would be eligible for a loan with the help of a co-signer. Assuming you get a score of 720-740, you can get schol.. at Rochester(Simon), Washington(olin) et cetera. BUT your chances getting a job post mba would be very less, as almost all companies ask for an experience of 4 year plus. I suggest you work for 1-2 years more and then apply.
It is really bad didn't know about this forum formerly. I used the Barrons book for prepairing and can say the Barrons was bad for me. I had 530 in the training Barrons but only maximum 460 in the real test. I supposed that it was my personal mistake and repeated again and again. But my result was not advanced. So my resume: real GMAT is much more complicated than GMAT in Barrons.
More over, the Barrons TOEFL is the same.
It is really bad didn't know about this forum formerly. I used the Barrons book for prepairing and can say the Barrons was bad for me. I had 530 in the training Barrons but only maximum 460 in the real test. I supposed that it was my personal mistake and repeated again and again. But my result was not advanced. So my resume: real GMAT is much more complicated than GMAT in Barrons. More over, the Barrons TOEFL is the same.
Dear guest, just a quck question, would you do a favor for many of us and volunteer to write a small review of the Barron's book? there is a book reveiw section on this site and it is always great to hear from people who used one or another book. Here is the link to the section:
http://www.gmatclub.com/content/resourc ... ry(%2Fgmat)&browse()
Last edited by bb on 21 Jun 2004, 10:16, edited 1 time in total.
Here are a few tidbits I have used to improve my score. First, I went to the library and checked out two math books that teach you math "tricks." So many GMAT prep books advise test takers to attempt to game the system (Princeton's Joe Bloggs, for example). I found this advice more trouble that it was worth - and instead decided to just LEARN the material rather than focus on "strategies."
The math trick books teach you how to rapidly multiply, divide, add and subtract. Sounds ridiculousy simple, but doing drills and learning these shortcuts helped me identify when I came up with answers that didn't make sense (wheras before I'm wondering what Joe Bloggs would do). It took me two days to nail these shortcuts, and I have tremendous confidence in crunching numbers -- and! Those tricky tricky GMAT questions - you know, the ones where you know there's a shortcut, but you don't know what it is? Often you'll find the trick in these kinds of books. :D
The second thing I recommend in preparing, is to get a stopwatch. When you're doing problem sets, start and stop the watch and record the time for each question. I found some interesting trends, but more importantly, I'm more accustomed to working under time constraints. Funny, when I sit to do 16 problems without the watch, it's SO much easier. The formulas and methods pop right in to my head and I'm done quickly. But as soon as that watch starts ticking, things just start to escape. Get used to it now, before the GMAT.
I think the answer that the majority would agree upton is that questions have weight based on the difficulty levels. That is, if a question is difficult, you will get more points for it than if it were not. Thus, it is not the number of questions answered right but the difficulty of the questions answered right that matters.
However, since to get a difficult question, that is worth more points than an average one, a testtaker needs to answer a row of easier questions.
Basically, what I mean is that of those 20 questions answered correctly, the order matters. You score will be different if all of them are in the begining rather than scattered around. I don't know what would be that difference though.