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I'm really finished this time 780 (Q50, V51) AWA 6.0 UPDATED [#permalink]
13 Sep 2006, 19:06
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It is with some hesitation that I post this message because my friend MATT has such a recent setback with his exam.
Some of you may know that I took the GMAT a little over a month ago and scored 730 (Q48, V41). While that was a good score, I was disappointed that I scored towards the bottom of my practice scores for Q, and well below any of my practice scores on V. After thinking for a weekend I decided to prepare for the exam one more time.
My practice range for Q on the first exam was 48-50, but after preparing for another month, I was feeling more confident about my Q skills and was realistically hoping to score towards the top of my practice range. When I began studying prior to the first exam, I had to review almost everything tested on the GMAT, but over the course of the first month I felt pretty good about most question types. After an additional month of review, I was definitely deeling better about everything.
My practice range for V on the first exam was 46-48 or so. I was a 99th percentile scorer on the LSAT some years ago so I didn't really spend enough time on V the first time around. In the last month, I spent a good amount of time on SC and CR (using the SC1000 and CR1000), and moved my practice scores up a few points. The main disappointment from my first exam was the low (for me) V score. Given the pool of test takers (engineering, business majors, foreign students, etc.), someone like me with a law degree from a top school should do better than 41V 93%.
I walked into the test center today with the dream of scoring 50+ on both V & Q. That would be at the high end of my practice scores for both subjects. Incidentally, I got 50Q 48V on the GMATprep a few days ago and scored 780, apparently 3 more points on V didn't move the overall score up.
I got a good nights sleep and went through my normal morning routine. My test was scheduled for 2PM, but I actually showed up at 1:30 and was accomodated right away. The first time around, I believe I drank too much coke in the morning, and I felt very tired towards the end of the exam. This time around, I drank some coke, but didn't over-do it. Also, the first time around I had a candy bar prior to the exam, and again at the second break, and I think that made me more tired as well. This time around I had some nuts in the middle break. I felt much better towards the end.
The AWA sections were pretty straightforward. I'm an attorney so I'm never at a loss for something to say. I got 6.0 on the AWA the first time around, and I think I did pretty well this time also. In any case, I don't think the AWA matters much, as long as you don't score like 1.5 or something (schools want to be sure that you wrote your own application essays).
The AWA sections went very smoothly and my bladder was cooperating so I decided to skip the first break and head directly to the Q section. The Q section was difficult but manageable. Since I finished with a 50, I will assume that I was in the high range of questions for most of the section. I did notice that the questions during the middle section of the test were more time consuming than some near the end. In fact, I started to feel like I was falling behind, and started to hurry a little; but then I got several questions in a row that were tricky but not time consuming and finished the section right on time.
The V section went about as well as I could have dreamed. For some reason, almost every single question looked like it had a clear answer. I recall feeling almost the same way during my first try at the exam, so I frightened myself a bit, but in the end, things turned out wonderfully. For the entire section, I only felt like 2-3 questions were tricky. I actually finished the verbal section with over 20 minutes to spare, so for some reason, my brain was really really clear this afternoon.
I felt great after finishing all the questions. In fact, I couldn't wait to speed through the end-of-exam questions so I could get my score. When it finally came up 780 I was extatic. Honestly, I do not believe I have ever seen a 51V.
So, here are some of my initial reactions:
At this moment I'm obviously very happy that I decided to study for the exam again, but I won't really know until the spring whether it pays off, and possibly not until many years after that. Many employers do ask for GMAT scores, so to quote a Chicago GSB admissions officer, your GMAT score will be with you for years to come.
I did find that it seems pretty difficult to improve your score towards the top end of the scale. I improved my Q by 2 points, and my V by 10 points, with an overall score improvement of 50 points. I'm actually somewhat surprised by what it must take to get 800. I was only dreaming of scoring 50/51, but apparently even higher scores are required for 800. Would 51/50 or 51/51 do it? Or do people actually score over 51 on either/both sections?
Everything fell my way today. The math questions were ones that I could handle, and I got lucky that I was able to work out several of the difficult questions more quickly than expected; it pretty fortunate that my timing was almost exactly right on in the end. In the V section, it just seemed that every single question was written by someone that thinks just like me. For almost every question, I found an answer exactly like I was looking for. It was a bit of good fortune.
The people here at GMATclub were a big part of my further preparation, especially GMATT73 & Futuristic. The inspiring posts and private messages helped keep me going for the second go-round. A few times I found myself sitting around thinking my first score was pretty good, and that I was causing unnecessary grief for myself, but the members of this board helped me to continue. I also enjoyed debating and conversing with many many others in the forums; it helped keep my mind on the job at hand.
If anyone would like details about my preparation I will be glad to post them. Also, if there is anything I can assist with, please ask.
Just got my online score report. AWA was 6.0. Scores and percentiles are unchanged from the unofficial report. I did notice that between my first and second attempts at the GMAT, the mean score went from 526.0 to 526.6. Also, the online PDF version is in color (I only got the mail version last time and it was black and white). And that's that.
Last edited by pelihu on 29 Sep 2006, 12:31, edited 1 time in total.
Nothing more to say.... you are a monster !!!
what a creepy score
when you finish all application processes, you should try
to take another shot for 800
I really want to know what kind of combination of Q and V = 800
Can you please post your picture to see if we look alike? If so, can you take the exam on behalf of me? Finger prints can be taken care of.
One question I had is how did you change your study strategy for Quant and Verbal second time? Like you approached questions differently than you had done before, what areas you concentrated on more, etc.
Again CONGRATS and Good Luck for your apps!
Hi, thanks a lot guys. I feel great; I will party this weekend.
Chen, there is no chance that I will ever take the test again to try for 800. Everything really went perfectly for me today so I don't really know what I would do to try to improve. I'm also not sure exactly what score is required for 800 these days.
Rookie06, to tell you the truth, I didn't change my strategy between the first and second tries. One main reason I decided to take the test a second time was because I scored quite a bit lower on the actual test than I had been doing in practice - I think I underperformed. In preperation for the second exam I reviewed some PS questions, and did a lot of DS questions to get more comfortable with the question structure. With verbal, I didn't do much studying for the first exam, so prior to the second exam I did about 1/2 of the SC1000 and CR1000, and I participated in the verbal discussions here at GMATclub. The discussions with the other members was a big help.