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Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips??

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Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips?? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 19:38
Hi! I just took the GMAT today and was harder than I thought! I got a 640 (44Q and 35V) and was a little dissapointed because a week ago I took my second GMATPrep exam and got a 680.. so I was hoping to score within that level.

I decided I won't give up and would greatly appreciate a few tips, advice or strategies to achieve a higher score..

What I already used:
- THE OG 11 edition and both math and verbal reviews.
- Took Veritas course.

Should I buy some of the Manhattan GMAT books like the SC?

I'll be very thankful for any advice or help on how to prepare next!!

Thanks
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesGMAT Pill GMAT Discount Codes
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Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips?? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 19:41
:shock:

Last edited by bergkamp10 on 08 Apr 2009, 20:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips?? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 19:42
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Welcome to gmatclub, bergkamp10

Looks like Verbal is your main weakness - there is a hefty book for each of the areas - SC, RC, CR - which one you feel is the worst and which one would be the easiest to improve?

By the way, what was your impression about the Veritas Course? I am trying to start a thread to discuss different courses out there and their pros/cons - would appreicate any thoughts you can share - what did you feel was the strong point? Weak? Was it worth the time and money? How were the materials? Instructors?

Sorry for the wave of questions :oops:
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Re: Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips?? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 19:56
Manhattan SC book is great. You must get it, if you consider SC as your weak side. It helps a lot.
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Re: Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips?? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 19:57
hey bb! Thanks for welcoming me to gmatclub (very obvious I am new as I posted the same message twice, great).

Ok first, which books are you mentioning? I think I am equally as bad in all 3 SC, CR, and RC.. are the Manhattan GMAT books good?

Second, do you have any clue why did I lowered my score from a 680 on the practice to a 640 in the real thing? And I wasn't tired or too nervous..

To answer your question:
I thought the Veritas Course was great. But of course, it is hard to tell since I dont know if maybe another course would have been more helpful (such as the manhattan).
All I can say is that the teacher I had is fantastic, really smart, and that in a month and a half I practically learned all math all over again (I hadn't seen math since high school and was reaaally rusty).. Now I actually feel OK with it.

The course is also good as it is structured as a class and you get lessons for every topic.

I would recommend it, but then again, I dont really know if it is better than other prep courses.. Hope this helped, please ask more questions if you have any!
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Re: Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips?? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 20:16
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I'm sailing in a similar boat : the one that tilts from 640-680 :). However when I boarded the boat and started the journey the boat tilted from 550-580 ( or is it between a score of 550 and 580 :) ).

Here's what I did and am still doing to improve - this might help you.

Analyze weaknesses : There's nothing that will help you more than analyzing your weak areas. No matter how many problems you solve, no matter how many tests you take, if you cannot isolate your weak areas - you will practically see no improvement in your score, yes I am talking about gradual improvement. By looking at your score you might be scoring an average of 70-75% in all the areas. However if you look closer you will find out which areas are your weak zones as compared to the peer areas. You might be scoring 80% in numbers and 60% in algebra. Something like that. Identify these and make a note. A very good starting point is the Free manhattan GMAT test. It won't cost you a dime but will help you by providing a clear map of your weak areas.

Get to the core of the basics: I can't emphasize more on this. All GMAT questions test the basic principles of mathematics and grammar. Agreed, you have to memorize a few idioms but the basic grammar is the key. When to use 'less than' and when to use 'lower than' is not a concept from a masters literature exam. So if you can, get a book that covers the basics of mathematics and also a good grammar book. There are several recommendations on this site. If you search for the right thread. Understand the basics, understand them again and again. This is boring and time consuming but the improvement you'll gain is tremendous.

Specifically for verbal : Just pick up one of the few fiction books bb has listed and read through them during free time. They will vastly improve your language knowledge. You'll come across several idiomatic constructions, proper sentence constructions and a ton of RC like passages.

More than anything, browse through the questions in these forums. You'll be amazed at some of the solutions like that 'graphical approach to inequalities' :).

Good luck.

-pradeep
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Re: Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips?? [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 23:14
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No problem about double posting - happens all the time. Thank you for the feedback about Veritas. I may contact you in the future with some questions if that's OK. I am honored, however, that you have come to GMAT Club after taking a class.

I think the post by pbanavara hits the nail - basics and fundamentals are the key. (It also has a cool boat analogy but that's not the point)
Here are some GMAT Books:

1. Recommendations by Nink who took a Manhattan class but did not think it really did the trick:
best-gmat-prep-books-recommendations-74310.html

2. List of top gmat books ranked by popularity on Gmat club:
top-20-best-gmat-books-on-gmat-club-76582.html

3. List of Fiction books (especially helpful if you are not a native speaker) to help with SC's and RC's
books-to-read-improve-verbal-score-and-enjoy-a-good-read-76079.html

This is probably a good start.
I do recommend Kaplan Verbal Workbook as that's what I used, but it is not as specialized as some of the books mentioned above.
You do have 44 on math, which is pretty good but many find it feasible to get up to 47 or 48 by investing just a bit more time - depending on the background (may not be the case) that may be an easy 10-20 points.

Don't rush into tests - you can always practice. Just stick to getting the holes covered.

About your score vs. GMATPrep - you'll hate this answer but the score fluctuates, we see about 30-40 point difference, so you are right on target.
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Re: Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips?? [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2009, 20:49
Good news is you can raise your score pretty easily into the upper 600's just by doing light review on the math to keep up your 44 and pounding away at the verbal for a month.

I scored a 640 on my 1st attempt with an identical score to yours (44/35). Then I took a Princeton class and retook the test 2 months later, scoring a 670 (Q42/V40). In retrospect, the Princeton class was pretty worthless. I could've scored a 670 on my first attempt had I actually taken some practice tests, really prepared myself for the test day/process and reviewed more sentence correction/critical reasoning (AND relaxed some more the days before test day).

Did you take enough practice tests? I think 3-4 max, spread out evenly is the way to do it. Not just take them but simulate the conditions, time of day, no stopping the clock, no breaks. Stress yourself out a bit and get use to that feeling.

My 2nd bit is a plug for MGMAT. If your timeline is short to retake, take the practice tests, identify your weaknesses in Verbal and just cram the crap out of those areas with the appropriate Manhattan GMAT book.

If you want to go for the gold and really improve your math, it'll take good analysis of your math practice tests too. I found I was weak in number properties, word problems, and generally interpreting DS. I really focused on those when I took the MGMAT class and it was worth it. My last attempt was last week and I scored a Q49/V41 (740) after 3 months of class + 1 months of independent studying. If I can do it, so can you!
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Re: Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips?? [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2009, 10:11
Wow! Thanks to everyone for replying and giving me some advice and support!
I am now focusing more on the verbal and will try to keep my math refreshed.

duuuma thank you for your story and your tips! Very inspiring!
Re: Got a 640 today.. need to improve!! New strategies / tips??   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2009, 10:11
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