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Is it Possible? Please Help!

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Is it Possible? Please Help! [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2012, 17:42
Hello All,

I know this is my first post here, but I've been a long time reader/voyeur of this forum (it turns out you don't need to post much to benefit from it). Let me describe my experience, and maybe you can give some suggestions as I have a WEEK AND A HALF before the test! So my timeline looks like:

I started my journey the 25th of September by enrolling in MGMAT. I'm a full time employee at a tech consulting firm, so I have roughly 3-4 hours per day to study before the test on the 30th. My background is that I graduated from a tier 2 private engineering school in mechanical engineering with a 3.75 GPA, and I am a native speaker of English.

9/25 started MGMAT
9/25 MGMAT 41Q 31V - 590 (very rusty with all concepts as I haven't seen algebra like this in years)
11/27 MGMAT 42Q 27V - 590 (ran out of time on both verbal and quant- didn't know pacing strat)
12/11 MGMAT 44Q 40V - 700 (outlined but didn't write full AWA)
1/12 MGMAT 45Q 36V - 670

1/15 Finished all of MGMAT Prep Books, including Advanced

1/18 GPrep 48Q 34V - 670

My last test really has thrown me under the bus in confidence. I performed well in quant, only making 2 or so careless mistakes, however my verbal, my sentence correction killed me as I made mistakes involving idioms, and I had one rough RC passage.

As of now, my goal is to get 710+. I've already put in roughly 4 months of prep with around 120 hours of legitimate studying. In practice environments I get roughly 9 out of 10 SC questions right and 9 out of 10 RC (advanced difficulty). Is it possible, that if I study idioms and crank out verbal for the next week that I can bring my score to my goal by the 30th?

Any suggestions for some last minute tune ups or reading material that will amp my game up further? If I don't hit my target I will definitely retake. However, I'm discouraged by the stat that I've seen on this forum that generally the more hours you put into study, the more likely you will have a sub 700 score.

Please, any insight will be helpful.
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Re: Is it Possible? Please Help! [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2012, 19:20
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Muffinman!

First, I don't think that we should treat stats with so much respect - there are numerous instances here where people have studied for 7 months to 1.5 years, toiled at it and emerged victorious. So, I don't think your hard work can ever be your undoing.

Second, I think your score is nothing to get too panicked about. You have around 10 days to cram before G-day and have identified your main weakness - SC. I would suggest that you go through the MGMAT SC book, cover to cover, again and download the various SC guides and practice problems available on this forum - the SC guide by whiplash, SC guides by Gayathri and Spidey, the Brutal SC question set and the Brutal SC solution thread available on this forum. Doing the 70-odd problems of the Brutal SC set and going through the solution threads should give you confidence and improve your SC.

Also, although your main focus will be SC, keep spending 50% time on the other areas (quants and verbals) as well.

Meanwhile, I would suggest that you take 2, possibly 3, full time mock tests in these 10 days as well - I believe GMAT test taking practice is important - it's like jogging 2 hours before a marathon.

Once you are done taking GMATPrep2, reinstall the GMATPrep software and take both GMATPrep1 and GMATPrep2 again given the question bank is huge and the repeats should be few.

Give it a shot - try to take the GMAT as another test (I know it's easier said than done, but you can try:)) and always know that you have another shot, and more to spare!
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Re: Is it Possible? Please Help! [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2012, 02:43
Seems test anxiety is getting the best of you.

Few suggestions:

Take each question on its own and don't let a single question drag you down.
Don't persistently monitor the time. Remember, its timing is about averages (average problems/block of time)
Take full advantage of both breaks. Grab a snack, use the restroom. Use those 8 minutes to unwind. Also take your time going through the instructions.
Don't classify mistakes as "careless". The GMAC puts a great deal of effort into each question to ensure it can properly stratify between most applicants. Many "careless" mistakes are built into problems (tripping up the test taker with similar answers, test taker reading the question too fast and not answering the question asked (answering something else), etc.)

Other than that, the above post lists out how to use practice tests in these final days to narrow in on obstacles to achieve your desired results.
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Re: Is it Possible? Please Help! [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2012, 15:47
Hey Guys - Especially Santanu -

I just took the real thing and banged out a 700! 49Q 37V. I'm satisfied with the score as it really opens doors to any school as long as the rest of my application is just as solid in other areas. The way I brought the verbal up from a 32 was purely going through all of the OG SC problems. I noticed towards finishing up the SC section that there is a certain inexplicable style that the GMAC is looking for. Although MGMAT's SC helped to learn the basics, I feel as though the rules were too stringent and that the exceptions weren't explained thoroughly enough.

GMATPrep is a good indicator at determining how challenging Verbal will be - it's a tad bit harder than MGMAT and the quant is a TAD bit easier. I just noticed that the quant section was much less computational than MGMAT.

Even though I wasn't a huge contributor on this forum (as my post count shows), I have definitely benefited a great deal from it and the users are a huge resource for everyone to take advantage of.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me and I can perhaps give some guidance.
Re: Is it Possible? Please Help!   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2012, 15:47
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