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# My approach to the 780 (50Q, 48V, 6AWA)

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Intern
Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Jones '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V48
GPA: 3.94
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 3

My approach to the 780 (50Q, 48V, 6AWA) [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2012, 16:17
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Hello everyone, this is my second post ever on this forum (First was the creation of the 2013 Jones thread, join me on it!)

Anyways, I took my GMAT in March of 2011, so it was quite a long time ago; hopefully my story can help you guys out. I think the test changed since, but I think some of my anecdotes will generalize to the revised test.

I spent about 2 months studying. My theory is, it's not about how long you study or even how many hours a day you study, its about knowing how to study. In my personal case, I am a quant guy so I spent most of my time on the verbal section. When I took the exam, it was Reading, Logic, Sentences. I'l take each part separately:

subject you are reading about, it is most often not. I thought I was golden everytime the passage on the practice tests were about chemistry because that is my study, but I most often got the most wrong on passages like this. Don't let your own knowledge infringe on the material that you will be asked about. There will only be one choice that is completely accurate and not a logical leap. Pick that one and move on to the nextquestion. And don't read choice a, read choiceb, read choice c, like choice c, and pick choice c. Read all the choices.. easy to say but in practice this takes discipline.

Logic: Much of the same strategy as reading, but here you have to infer. Again, read all the choices. Many of them may seem correct. In reality, more than one of the answers may be correct. However, there is one that can be inferred directly from the material. If one choice follows from the material and violates common sense and the other requires common sense to infer, Go with the first choice! Keep your logic linear... Keep track of all teh inputs required in your logic to reach a position. If one of the inputs is not in the text.. that answer is Wrong!

Sentences: Learn the rules. Learn the rules. Learn the rules. They are going to try to trick you with long drawn out sentences with complex clauses. In math, we use paranthesis to separate things. For example, sin5x would look better if we wrote sin(5x). In sentences, you should do the same thought process. For example:
"Each of the scientists have a computer". This sentence is WRONG. Know why? Think of it like this:
"(Each of the engineers) have a computer". The subject in paranthesis is referring to a singular person.
"(Person) have a computer". Now it is clear that this is wrong:
"(Person) HAS a computer" --> "Each of the scientists has a computer" is the correct sentence.
Besides this, focus on parallelism and idioms... those are key.

As far as the AWA goes, keep the logic linear and maintain a structure... that is what they look for.

And for the quant: Work fast but at every logical step you make, quickly ask yourself, "is this logically correct?". Then, when you get to the end, you will not have to worry about getting the problem wrong, because you evaluated every step. Half of your brain should be in problem solving mode, and the other half should be in editing mode. This is not the math test where a simple mistake is forgiven. At least in my day, the CAT meant that getting 2 questions wrong early killed your high score.

I'm sorry I'm not more specific... I'm more just relaying the realizations I made on my path to the test taking environment. It's definitely an intimidating process, but I wish you all the best of luck.

-Texigan
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Re: My approach to the 780 (50Q, 48V, 6AWA) [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2012, 07:12
Really well written debrief and an awesome score!Can you please answer my below queries:
What kind of questions did u encounter during the exam,especially in quant.Which topics u feel one should stress more on in quant?
Do u think the level of difficulty was the same as that of gmatprep exam?

Thanks,
Shreeraj
Intern
Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Jones '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V48
GPA: 3.94
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 20 [1] , given: 3

Re: My approach to the 780 (50Q, 48V, 6AWA) [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2012, 12:08
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shreerajp99 wrote:
Really well written debrief and an awesome score!Can you please answer my below queries:
What kind of questions did u encounter during the exam,especially in quant.Which topics u feel one should stress more on in quant?
Do u think the level of difficulty was the same as that of gmatprep exam?

Thanks,
Shreeraj

Thanks Shreeraj,

Although i am not your best source of info for studying for quant (again, quant was my natural area, verbal was my sticking point), i think I can help you a little bit.

First of all, yes, I found that the level of difficulty was roughly the same.. If you feel confident on the 700+ questions in practice tests than you will be fine on teh hardest GMAT questions.

Here are a few things that I came across in my preparation and or exam:
1) The research/non-counted/test-question questions WILL throw you off. In my case, my questions kept getting progressively harder until what seemed like a softball was thrown my way. Obviously, my first reaction was to bleieve that it was a trick question. You should ask yourself if it really is a trick, but don't overthink it. You want to answer the easy ones that appear out of place just as if they are in fact easy. Don't overthink it. This will save you big time when you do get to the harder questions.

2) Study primarily with 700+/Hardest questions. These will get you acquainted with the logic used in the number theory and geometry questions (areas where just about nobody has real experience in). For example, as a physicist and a chemist, I am used to dealing with complex calculus and high level math, so it was a bit humbling to have to study number theory and geometry formulas. But It all worked out in the end for me.

Hope I helped.
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Re: My approach to the 780 (50Q, 48V, 6AWA) [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2012, 15:59
hi texigan,
i too have come to the opinion that practising with 700+ range questions is the way to beat gmat.
however i am not able to lay my hands on quality materials, especially for quants. can you please specify which materials you used?
_________________

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Intern
Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Jones '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V48
GPA: 3.94
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 3

Re: My approach to the 780 (50Q, 48V, 6AWA) [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2012, 14:27
vinzycoolfire wrote:
hi texigan,
i too have come to the opinion that practising with 700+ range questions is the way to beat gmat.
however i am not able to lay my hands on quality materials, especially for quants. can you please specify which materials you used?

I believe I used the Princeton Review Book.. both the main book and the 1001 question book.
For quant, I would say that if you have the time, to look into physics. The logic used in physics can be quite complex and it would overkill the logic necessary on the gmat. If you don't have the time, I would brush up on "quantitative common sense". What I mean by that is, try to get a feel of whether or not your answer seems like it make sense before you decide on a given answer. Always do a sanity check on your answers. I would also work on memorizing the simple geometry formulas, trig formulas (including the 45/45/90 triangle and the 60/30/90 triangle) and put emphasis on probabibility and number theory (ie what is an integer, how can i easily tell what the remainder is when i divide two numbers, etc).
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GMAT 1: 650 Q48 V32
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Re: My approach to the 780 (50Q, 48V, 6AWA) [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2012, 08:38
That's an awesome score and very good debrief!! Congrats!!
I have been trying to improve my Verbal score but with not much success.
My queries: Which CATs did you give before the exam? Also, did you enroll into any course during your preparation?
Re: My approach to the 780 (50Q, 48V, 6AWA)   [#permalink] 21 Sep 2012, 08:38
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