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My 9 weeks adventure ride / Retaking the GMAT

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My 9 weeks adventure ride / Retaking the GMAT [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 01:59
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It’s been now 7 weeks that I took the GMAT and scored a 560. I have not studied since then. Although I got admitted to my favored b-school meanwhile, I need to improve my score to at least around 680-700 in order to have good chances for scholarships or other financial support. My next test day is November 8th. I am just about to start to study for the GMAT again………………tackling the verbal part first.

---------------------------------------- Here is my GMAT adventure ride ---------------------------------------

At the beginning of my prep phase I did a GMAT Prep test to figure out where I stand. I got brutally crushed with a 350 and I had developed huge anxiety concerning an improvement of 250 points to reach a 600 (that’s what the respective b-school required). As it is in my nature, I did everything possible. I took private tutoring (mbahelp.de) and studied 8-10 hours a day for 9 weeks. I just went out maybe 2-3 times in this period. I lived like a caveman in his cave. In the last to weeks prior to the test date I took 5 Kaplan tests, 4 tests from 800score.com (only as means for pacing myself, since they are not adaptive), and the 2 GMATPrep tests. Here are my scores:

Kaplan: 370, 500, 520, 510
800score: 470, 500, 440, 540
GMAT Prep: 480, 600.

With these scores, I did not expect to come even close to the 600 and will even struggle to get a 500 on the real test. I knew for sure that the only possibility to survive is to stick to my time strategy during the test. My tutor advised me to follow this plan:

QUANT:
First 1/3 questions: 25 minutes and getting 7 out of 10 right
For the rest of the test: 7 wildcards, that is, skipping questions I know that I will struggle with

VERBAL:
Almost same procedure

---------------------------------------- MY SCORE ON THE REAL TEST ----------------------------------------
Q40
V28
Score: 540

I was pleased by my quant performance, but unhappy with my verbal part. The reading comprehension part always takes up so much time, leaving less than enough time to complete CR and SC questions. The other reason was that the first 10 questions of the verbal part where not that easy and I had probably less than 7 out of 10 right. This is why I could not reach my desired score.

-------------------------- Getting started with the GMAT study journey ONCE AGAIN --------------------------
Concerning RC:
I have reviewed and practiced different strategies that somehow have not worked out for me. For example: I followed the suggestions of my tutor (who, by the way, did not really do a great job!!!).
He advised me:
1) Reading the entire first paragraph
2) Reading the first sentences of each of the following paragraphs
3) Summarizing the first sentence of each paragraph and noting down key words from the rest of the respective paragraph by skimming (whereby I had difficulties to find them)
4) Watching for tone, attitude, etc.
5) Reading the questions and going back into the passage when needed (by using the key words)

By the time I was done with this approach, some 15 to 20 minutes minimum passed by. I am really slow in summarizing and not really good in grasping the important stuff in a passage. And when it is a science (biology, chemistry, etc.) passage, I have severe difficulties in grasping what the passage is about. It is funny that I struggle with the RC, especially because I studied in the US for a year and have good English skills.

Since I could not hold on to this kind of procedure I decided to go with the following on the test day:

1) Reading the entire passage once within 3-5 minutes
2) Reading the question and going back to the passage
3) Solve the question to the best of my ability

This was the fastest (around 8-10 minutes) and somehow accurate way to solve the RC questions in a timely manner. However, on the test day, I had difficulties with finishing the questions in time. I was getting into a time rush and skipping questions. Thereby, I could not attack the remaining CR and SC questions properly.

I would be very thankful for any advice how to boost up my verbal skills and especially how to best attack RC questions!!! (I ordered the MGMAT Guide Reading Comprehension book)

MATH part:
My math skills are ok/mediocre (Q40). Would you guys recommend me buying the Kaplan 800 book or the MGMAT Math guides for the purpose of scoring around 680-700?

AWA:
I left out the AWA part during my last test and have not even studied for it because the b-schools I applied to did not require it. But since I want to go abroad again, the respective schools want the AWA scores as well. I heard that it takes not much effort to score at least a 3 on the AWA part. Does anyone have recommendations in regard of study material (books)/ study plans?

I looking forward to your responses,

gmatt14.

PS: Next test date is November 8th.
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Re: My 9 weeks adventure ride / Retaking the GMAT [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 06:28
good luck!

is there a reason why you didn't go to your favored b-school?
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Re: My 9 weeks adventure ride / Retaking the GMAT [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 07:06
I got admitted to my desired b-school. I decided to start next year due to financial issues and deadlines for scholarships. (My contract w/ the b-school is still effective. So my admission is safe.)
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Re: My 9 weeks adventure ride / Retaking the GMAT [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 07:21
gotya~ just curious :o good luck!!
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Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Technology
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Re: My 9 weeks adventure ride / Retaking the GMAT [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2010, 03:44
good luck! congrats on getting accepted too
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Re: My 9 weeks adventure ride / Retaking the GMAT [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2010, 05:43
Pleeeaaaase, give me some tips. I would really appreciate it..................
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Re: My 9 weeks adventure ride / Retaking the GMAT [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2010, 11:30
Best of luck! Hope you get some scholarship money
Re: My 9 weeks adventure ride / Retaking the GMAT   [#permalink] 11 Jul 2010, 11:30
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