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GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned

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GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 31 May 2009, 13:56
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So I took the GMAT again yesterday after almost a year's gap. I had prepared fairly intensely for the last month working on my self diagnosed weaknesses.

My idea was to bump my math from 47 to 49 and the verbal from 40 to 43.

I only partially achieved my objectives - verbal moved to 42 but math dropped to 45.

Needless to say I am fairly pissed at myself for wasting time with no results to show for.

Anyway - need to cool off before I continue this diatribe .....

Now that I have regained my composure :|

Some lessons learned:

1. Analyzing your weaknesses - this is key and something that should be done ASAP. However, pay particular attention to what are perceived weaknesses vs true weaknesses. I obviously did not do this particularly effectively.

2. Establishing a practice routine - Concentrate on your weaknesses interspersed with occasional general practice. In hindsight, I did not focus on my weaknesses enough.

3. Dont schedule till you are hitting your desired score - While I am a big proponent of scheduling in order to get your mind focused - then fact of the matter is that even this past week I was only hitting 700-740 on the GMATPrep. The GMATPrep is a fairly good reflection of what you can expect to get in the real deal.

I wish all future re-takers best of luck and may you learn from my mistakes.

Now back to brooding .... :(
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 31 May 2009, 18:31
thanks, that was a valuable post. 7xx is not a bad score. Concentrate on your apps and make it super strong! :)
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2009, 15:30
Hey sm, welcome back !! I don't know if you remember, but I had a similar experience. I retook with a 720 and ended up with another 720 although I improved my splits from 48/40 to 48/42. I felt like I had wasted an entire month. But now that I have an admit I can tell you that the retake didn't make any difference. I think your 710 will be enough at most schools. Kudos on the post. See you at the b-school application forums.
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2009, 18:06
sm332 wrote:
attention to what are perceived weaknesses vs true weaknesses.


With your experience, how do you distinguish btw the perceived and true weaknesses? I'm in the same boat, but I dont know how to do next!

Thanks
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2009, 18:25
Excellent question mate - I will try and provide a cogent answer using my own experience.

From my first GMAT attempt way back last April I knew that I had to work on SC (I basically attempted on the first attempt without any verbal prep other than practice questions on OG and GMATPrep) and I felt that I needed to make some improvements in DS (specifically in number properties and inequalities).

With the benefit of hindsight my practice was not structured to truly address the the perceived math weakness and I also neglected to improve on speed and just solidity in all aspects of quant. e.g. Even if i were to guess on the 2-3 inequality DS questions one can expect to see - it wouldnt explain the drastic drop in my quant score.

My conclusion is that my quant fundamentals werent as strong as I thought and my time would have been better spent on really getting them to where they needed to be.

I may be wrong - unfortunately the GMAT doesnt provide us with a breakdown of what types of questions we get wrong to really address in future attempts.

I am in two minds right now whether to spend another 75-100 hours to fix the problem areas and give it another go. My logical self says that it would be a pointless exercise - my egotistical and proud self says I can tame the beast!!

My wife (i.e., Ultimate Master) says I am stupid for even thinking about sinking more time into this endeavor and I should focus on churning out above average essays.

I will keep folks posted on where I land.

sondenso wrote:
sm332 wrote:
attention to what are perceived weaknesses vs true weaknesses.


With your experience, how do you distinguish btw the perceived and true weaknesses? I'm in the same boat, but I dont know how to do next!

Thanks

_________________

INSEAD Sept 2010 Interview Invite Nov 5, 2009 Admit & Matriculating
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2009, 20:25
sm Have you decided to give the schools a shot for class of 2012 ? If so, I'd say dont bother. The GMAT is "good enough" for most schools. The real fun begins with the essays.
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2009, 14:17
yeah mate ... I have to apply this year to commence next year. I am getting old and dont think I can wait any longer. :lol:

bsd_lover wrote:
sm Have you decided to give the schools a shot for class of 2012 ? If so, I'd say dont bother. The GMAT is "good enough" for most schools. The real fun begins with the essays.

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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2009, 12:21
Awesome post. I can only say I wish I had your score ! I had my first attempt back in September 2008, and wasnt entirely convinced that I should retake after getting a 680. Ive pretty much got both feet in the 'retake' boat now :)
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2009, 13:06
Listen to the Ultimate Master!
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2009, 18:14
sm332 wrote:
yeah mate ... I have to apply this year to commence next year. I am getting old and dont think I can wait any longer. :lol:

bsd_lover wrote:
sm Have you decided to give the schools a shot for class of 2012 ? If so, I'd say dont bother. The GMAT is "good enough" for most schools. The real fun begins with the essays.


Definitely don't try again. You're score is good and your splits look balanced.
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2009, 18:30
I have taken my master's (read as wife) advice and hence no re-take for me.

highhopes wrote:
sm332 wrote:
yeah mate ... I have to apply this year to commence next year. I am getting old and dont think I can wait any longer. :lol:

bsd_lover wrote:
sm Have you decided to give the schools a shot for class of 2012 ? If so, I'd say dont bother. The GMAT is "good enough" for most schools. The real fun begins with the essays.


Definitely don't try again. You're score is good and your splits look balanced.

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INSEAD Sept 2010 Interview Invite Nov 5, 2009 Admit & Matriculating
Wharton Sept 2010 Interview Invite Oct 30, 2009 Waitlisted & Ding
Harvard Sept 2010 Ding without Interview
Ivey May 2010 Interview Invite Nov 23, 2009 Admit + $$

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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2009, 22:52
Your master is wise. Start writing essays already - its a lot of work ... one doesn't realise until one starts.
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2009, 07:22
Many thanks mate, good luck with your application

sm332 wrote:
Excellent question mate - I will try and provide a cogent answer using my own experience.

From my first GMAT attempt way back last April I knew that I had to work on SC (I basically attempted on the first attempt without any verbal prep other than practice questions on OG and GMATPrep) and I felt that I needed to make some improvements in DS (specifically in number properties and inequalities).

With the benefit of hindsight my practice was not structured to truly address the the perceived math weakness and I also neglected to improve on speed and just solidity in all aspects of quant. e.g. Even if i were to guess on the 2-3 inequality DS questions one can expect to see - it wouldnt explain the drastic drop in my quant score.

My conclusion is that my quant fundamentals werent as strong as I thought and my time would have been better spent on really getting them to where they needed to be.

I may be wrong - unfortunately the GMAT doesnt provide us with a breakdown of what types of questions we get wrong to really address in future attempts.

I am in two minds right now whether to spend another 75-100 hours to fix the problem areas and give it another go. My logical self says that it would be a pointless exercise - my egotistical and proud self says I can tame the beast!!

My wife (i.e., Ultimate Master) says I am stupid for even thinking about sinking more time into this endeavor and I should focus on churning out above average essays.

I will keep folks posted on where I land.

sondenso wrote:
sm332 wrote:
attention to what are perceived weaknesses vs true weaknesses.


With your experience, how do you distinguish btw the perceived and true weaknesses? I'm in the same boat, but I dont know how to do next!

Thanks

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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2009, 04:31
Point #3: This is a tough one for me. Everyone says pick a date for the exam, or you will not be focused. But then again like you said, you need to be hitting your target score on GMATPrep.
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2009, 10:24
sm332,

Congrats on that score and I'm sure doors of opportunities will open for you!

What prep materials did you use the 1st & 2nd time around? Thanks sharing your experience.
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Re: GMAT Take 2 - 710 to 710: some lesssons learned   [#permalink] 17 Jun 2009, 10:24
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