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My first attempt - 710 (Q50 V36)

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My first attempt - 710 (Q50 V36) [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2005, 17:40
My score:
710 94%
Q50 95%
V 36 81%

First of all, thanks to all of you for your valuable time and creating such a wonderful way to study. Even though I was not that active here as some of you, I doubt that I would have been motivated without this great forum.

I just came back from test site and still in dilemma, whether to celebrate or plan for my next attempt, even though it may sound ridiculous to some of you.

First, the test experiece:
Quantitative was definitely much harder than OG. I almost ran out of time. There were lots of tricky DS questions that required a good amount of thinking. What got me was questions (a couple) that required calculation with fractions that did not reduce easily.
It was good that I took someon'e advice and did not spend too much time on probability and other not so common subjects. Yes, I did get a couple probability questions but they were simple enough to be solved by basic knowledge of probability. No deviation question in the test.

Verbal felt similar to OG, perhaps because I never got the harder questions! I'm really shocked with my low verbal score since I scored much higher in all my practice tests. Worse, I felt that test was going well during verbal and I was able to rule out all options other than the correct one almost all the time. I guess what got me was the first question, an SC, which I quicly confirmed and answered but then felt I should have read all the options thoroughly.

My take from this experience is that the first few questions are really crucial in your score and that no matter how aggressive you are about scoring high, do not underestimate the first few questions.

I was targeting a 750+ score and am planning to apply to top schools;Wharton and Chicago GSB are my top choices.
I feel that other parts of my application are not that strong. I'm a techie with 8 years experience, minimal charity involvement and extra curriculars. So, I wanted to make my score the strongest part of my application.

Now, I need to do some soul searching to figure out what to do next.
Read: Beer :)
I'll post my preparation strategy and practice scores later.

Last edited by enigma on 22 Jun 2005, 10:33, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2005, 18:12
Congratulations !!!
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2005, 18:14

What did you do for GMAT preparation?
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2005, 00:24
Congratulations Enigma. 710 is a very good score.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2005, 06:48
Congratulation enigma. With 710, you should be able to apply anywhere unless you think you can do 740+. Good luck.

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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2005, 09:49
710 is a good score. Unless you feel you can improve you're score by another 30 points, i wouldnt risk it. Dunno, just my thoughts.
Could you talk a little bit more about the actual gmat verbal test. What was the first time questions like [# of SC, # of CR, # of RCs, etc]. What type of SC questions did you see? What was your timing like, etc, etc.


Last edited by gmataquaguy on 22 Jun 2005, 05:37, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2005, 19:55
Congratulations. Can you please more details on the types of questions and where you felt challenged etc.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2005, 23:28
Thank you all. Though I'm still a little sore with my performance, I'm slowly accepting my fate; a little since its not that bad after all and a little since I don't think I can put another month for the exam.

The test - I managed time pretty well and had to guess in only one quant question for which my answer did not match any given one. Dividing the test in three equal parts, timing wise, helped immensely. In verbal, first 3-4 questions were SCs followed by a couple CRs and a RC. I got 4 RCs and none of them were super long (max was 60 lines).

My preparation strategy - even though I was addicted to "Share your gmat experience" forum, I mostly used the analysis done by Dave to prepare a strategy (
I chalked out a week-by-week plan for around 8 weeks (which got extended to 12 eventually); I used to regularly update it to track my progress. It was more of a marathon than a sprint for me, as I spent about 2-3 hours every week for first 4 weeks, 5-6 hours next 6 weeks and then 20-25 hours in the last couple weeks (I took last few days off).

I mainly used Princeton (to start with), Kaplan, Kaplan 800 and OG (in last weeks) which is a good strategy as pointed by many others. There are not too many new insights that I can present which is not already there in the sticky posts above. But I have to stress the importance of registering early for the exam. I did the classic mistake of registering just 10 days earlier and hence my study time got stretched to 12 weeks for no reason! I can partly blame Prometric for this delay, as you can not get anything other than morning slot (8:30 - 12:30) unless somebody else has booked that slot. So I had to wait for somebody to take the first slot and then I registered for 1 - 5 slot. I'm not really a morning person and based in California; it may be otherwise in other locations.

My hit rate was about 90-95% in all sections of OG.

My practice scores were:
(Before any preparation)
Kaplan Diagnostic (700)
PR1 720

(After going through Kaplan and PR sections)
Kaplan1 - 640
Kaplan 2 - 580
(Bad day - I almost gave up in middle!)
PowerPrep1 - 740
(After going through OG, could be tainted)
PP1 - 770
PP2 - 790

Real GMAT - 710

If I have to do it again, I'll remember these takeaways:
1. Register at least a month earlier. The earlier the better.
2. It is good to be aggressive but double check your first 15 answers, however certain you are about your choice.
3. Try to solve harder questions under time constraints for quant. The real gmat is a bit harder than OG and PR, but close to Kaplan.
4. Practice as many SC questions as I can so that I can be certain that I can ace them in a minute (its possible since there are not too many types).
5. Focus a bit less on practice scores but rather on getting the basics right.
6. Practice different kinds of CR questions from various sources such as LSAT papers (I think I got over confident in this section).
7. Not panic in the last questions of Verbal (the final score is 5 minues away blew me!).
8. Practice more RC on computer (Initially my RC suffered but then I figured taking notes vastly improved my hit rate; perhaps it forced me to think).
9. To not fret over esoteric questions occasionally floating on these forums but concentrate on, again, getting the basics right.
10. Not tell everyone and their dogs that I'm taking GMAT as the pressure gets immense.
  [#permalink] 21 Jun 2005, 23:28
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