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"GMATTED" 640 my story Q38 V39

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Joined: 30 Mar 2010
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GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V42
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"GMATTED" 640 my story Q38 V39 [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2010, 10:14
Its taken me a week to post this but the score was a real shock to me i was aiming for 700+ and round 2 apps to top10 schools.
This was like a massive body blow to me and its taken a week for me to forgive myself

Final score was 640, Q38, V39 AWA5.5

My gmatprep scores were:

GMATPREP1: 660 Q46, V35
GMATPREP2: 710 Q44, V42 Taken 2 weeks after and in this time focused on SC

Most stories like these go on to talk about how things went bad on the day and poor time management/nerves etc got the best of them.

For me it was no such thing I honestly think everything went well. Although the Quant questions seems very easy (not a good sign) but all my studies told me don't worry it happens sometimes, you might be getting trial questions so I pushed on. Verbal was quite tough, started off with a tough RC question, and the topic was something I'm very familiar with from work.. but i still couldn't find the right answers! Overall thought V was quite difficult. More so than GMATPREP. When I got Q44 on GMATPREP i felt i did terribly I had to guess many times and I think I got about half the questions wrong. So i thought to myself there is no way I got could get less than Q44. First thing I thought was 'ERROR' Q38 can't be right, but I dismissed that, I probably just got tricked and was left on the path to a low score after early mistakes and the questions I got right were probably trial ones.

Anyway my study path is as follows

I originally planned to do the 3 month GMATCLUB plan, 1 month quant, 1 month verbal and 1 month review.

Quant:

Well so much for that, took me 3 months of procrastinating to get the all the MGMAT quant guides, but I did it. I did all the questions and all the OG questions. I think if i had been concentrating and wasn't so busy at work it still woulda taken me 6 weeks, to get through all that material is just very tough in 1 month so keep that in mind!! At the end of this I did a MGMAT CAT.
Scored 580 Q41 V31. Was quite annoyed with this given I'd been through everything MGMAT suggested and I could only pull a 41 on their own test!! On closer inspection I totally didn't manage time and had to guess last 7 questions, before that I was at around a Q47. Resat Q only GMATPREP just before the exam and got a Q47.. and I thought I'm probably ok now.

Verbal

With R2 deadlines fast approaching I had to get verbal outta the way quick! I had less than a month to go so I decided I'd spend 2 weeks on verbal. I again went through the MGMAT guides, RC and CR seemed to come quite natural to me, but I couldn't stand SC (even as a native speaker). I just kept making a lot mistakes. I hated the MGMAT SC guide that everyone hear harps on about as a bible. I found it too long, too filled with long technical terms and by the time I got to the later sections I could barley understand what was being said at all. Also there were just so many examples and it was tough to remember them. I pushed on and seemed to be able to answer a lot of questions by the ear test. I seemed to be getting most of the OG questions right so I just went with it.
I did a quick MGMAT verbal CAT to see where I was at and I got V39 did well on SC so I thought I was good to go.

I then attempted the GMATPREP and scored a V35, I scored very well on RC and CR but got about 10/17 on SC. I realised I was not good at SC at all. I knuckled down, found the SC Grail, I liked it a lot more than the MGMAT SC "bible", it was something I'd write if I understood SC and it was written by a friend telling me you may not know what the past perfect participle whatever is but its ok.. it just means that x... Written in a much more concise manner I was able to get an overview of the questions a lot quicker. I hit the OG questions again and again and I realised the SC Grail would still not be enough. So I studied the OG more closely, went through the answers not only for the questions I got wrong but the ones I got right also. I also studied the answers for the wrong answers, although it might seem obvious that the answers provided were wrong you got some insight as to why certain words are wrong and the same thing later could be tested but in a more ambiguous way. I never picked up the MGMAT SC again, nor do I want!

Next Steps

So I totally screwed up Quant, I realised a week before my test that I wasn't quite there with Quant. After having gone through the MGMAT guides and the OG I struggled with hard questions, and there was another level I needed to get to. I just didn't realise it until too late.. but I was still confident I could get a Q45-47 just not higher unless things went my way.

So I'm planning to resit sometime in January or February, I read Kellogg allow you to submit new GMAT scores after deadline and it may or may not be taken into consideration, but hey I'll take what I can get as I'm 100% sure I would get much higher than 640 if I sat the thing again tomorrow. Who knows I'll probably end up reapplying next year in R1, and I can resit whilst everything is still fresh in my mind. I'm planning on vastly improving my quant, I've always been decent at it but haven't really touched much math since high school (10 years ago). Could someone please suggest ways to improve?

Have read GMATCLUB tests are a good way to take you to that next level from Q46 to Q49+. Just concerned that a lot of it isn't relevant or too hard/poorly written.
Jeff Sackman's materials? Have heard mentions of this
Perhaps I could take a course, Kaplan guarantee sounds good but I'm not keen on doing a verbal course. Just quant.

Its been a tough week, I was so angry about it, but life goes on and I'm up for a fight!
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Re: "GMATTED" 640 my story Q38 V39 [#permalink] New post 25 May 2011, 22:35
Had a similar day brother. Nailed the verbal but got totally hammered by quant, and scored far below my practice tests. I'm taking a few days off then going for another round. How did you end up faring?
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Re: "GMATTED" 640 my story Q38 V39 [#permalink] New post 26 May 2011, 06:39
The GMATClub tests are more than worth the $79. The questions are very relevant to what you will see in the GMAT, however they focus moreso on the 700-800 level questions. I struggled with Quant from the get go. On my first diagnostics I was scoring Q38. Data Sufficiency left me all types of discombobulated. Going through the MGMAT strategy guides gave me a grounding in the fundamentals. GMATClub tests helped me apply those fundamentals to the most difficult problems. Getting a 30+/37 on a GMATclub test definitely helps build confidence for the real thing. Plus GMATClub tests exposed me to different types of problems and once I figured out how to solve them I never struggled with a similar problem again. I wound up with a Q48 on the GMAT, so I think those tests definitely paid off.
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Re: "GMATTED" 640 my story Q38 V39   [#permalink] 26 May 2011, 06:39
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