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My GMAT 720 (Q49,V40)

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Manager
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Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 97
Location: Sweden
Concentration: Finance, International Business
Schools: Stockholm School of Economics (MSc Finance) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V40
GPA: 4
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 20 [1] , given: 6

My GMAT 720 (Q49,V40) [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2011, 07:00
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Just came back from the testing center with 720 Q49V40. 28/12/2011 UPDATE: 5.0 AWA clueless how I got this :D
This forum gave me a lot of insight, so I'll try give back to this community though sharing my experience and mistakes.

0.Preface Background
22 year-old male
Eastern Europe
Finance major
Spent a year in U.S. (this probably helped me most with idioms)
TOEFL 113
Targeted a >700 score

1. The Path

My path to GMAT goes way back to February, when a friend suggested I should pursue a Master's degree, rather than work at a local Big4 audit firm, as I was planning back in the days.
I started simply by Google-ing 'gmat prepartion' and stumbled upon GMATClub. I went fast through the Best Recommended Books list and decided to purchase the Kaplan 2011 book as my initial guide.I also took a GMATprep test and got a merely 530 (Q35V28). It was a surprising score, especially Quant, since I had a 710 in SAT Math and I expected a similar performance on GMAT. Although, I received the book in March, I didn't take a look at it, until April-May. I must admit - procrastination is the worst enemy one can have. I had a goal to study during the summer, but it never happened. My hectic schedule wasn't adapted to a GMAT schedule. Although I was going through the Kaplan guide (10 pages a day :-D), looking back, it was just a waste of time.
So I started all over in September. Initially, I was planning to take the test in November, but again - I couldn't fit well GMAT in my unsystematic schedule. Thus December was the latest when I could take the test to meet the deadlines.

2. Books & Practice

I have used the following materials:

GMATClub - Question of the Day is great!
Manhattan 8 Guides + 6 tests
Manhattan Foundations of GMAT Math
Manhattan Advanced Quant
Official Guide 12th
Quant Official Guide 2nd
Verbal Official Guide 2nd
Manhattan GMAT video-course & their 750+ Seminars Question Database - found online :)
Thursday with Ron (Manhattan GMAT)
Kaplan 2011 Premier
PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
GMATClubTests

3. Test scores
GMATPrep 1: April-May 2011 530 Q35V28
MGMAT 1: 10/10/2011 - 650 Q45V34
MGMAT 2: 10/17/2011 - 650 Q44V35
MGMAT 3: 11/1/2011 - 430 Q47 (didn't do the Verbal part)
MGMAT 4: 11/15/2011 - 670 Q45V36
MGMAT 5: 12/11/2011 - 680 Q47V35
MGMAT 6: messed up an ruined the test half-way
GMATprep1: 12/13/2011 - 690 Q45V40
After I Reset the tests
MGMAT 2A: 12/16/2011 - 700 Q46V40
MGMAT 3A: 12/18/2011 - 720 Q48V40
MGMAT 4A: 12/19/2011 - 720 Q48V40
GMATprep2: 12/19/2011 11:20PM - 720 Q49V40 (exactly the same score I got on the actual GMAT - again, GMATprep = best predictor)
GMATClub tests along the way - only Quant

4. GMAT Day
AWA started pretty bad. I never even looked through AWA prep until 12 hours before the actual exam. Shame on me, I know :-D
But I still hope it will be a 4.5
Quant was usual. Timing was almost good - 1min45seconds for the 37 question. Questions seemed easy, so when I had the break, I felt that I'd fail my goal of >700
Verbal was better. RC passages easy. 3 shorts ones and a long one; CR a lil bit confusing, but OK; SC was doable. The weird thing happened when I was at question 31 - only 15 minutes left and I was just about to start reading the long passage.
30 seconds before the test ended, I submitted the answer.
In the end, the sweet 720 popped out

5. Takeways

#0: Organize yourself & Enjoy it
This may seem obvious to someone, but now I realize that because I didn't plan my learning for the months to come, I ended up taking practice tests and doing Official Guides excessively late. The later weeks of prep were actually fun(although sometimes stressful)! I took GMAT as a personal challenge and it is rewarding to see myself succeed. I also used incentives -> a beer, a night-out, a movie, or any other made-up reason to cheer for improving results :-D
#1: Mix Official GMAT problems with regular preparation from guidebooks (in my case - Manhattan)
I didn't solve any Official GMAT problems until December 11 (I wanted to leave them for the last, so to better assess my performance), just 9 days before the exam. Nevertheless, I managed to solve 1375 items in these 9 days, from the 3 Official Guides, or roughly 91% of all problems.
#2: GMATClub tests = High Quant
I did 16 of the 25 available Quant tests. In my opinion, GMATClub tests boosted my Quant from 45 to 49.
#3: Manhattan GMAT materials - good to great
The Quant and SC guides were useful. RC and CR - not that much
Manhattan GMAT Advanced Quant is the deal! Along with GMATClub tests a tool for having a good quant score.
Thursday with Ron gave me useful insights on the test techniques.
The Paid Manhattan GMAT Archer is a great tool to analyze performance on Official Guides and target specific weaknesses
#4: Practice makes perfect
If I would do it again, I would definitively set myself a goal - 1 practice test a week (even though you would reset them eventually). Take one GMATprep three weeks to a month before the test and the 2nd one - a week or two before the exam.
At the same time, don't just use any type of practice tests. I took the Quant parts from Kaplan and Grockit, but it seemed a lil bit out-of-focus, compared to the real GMAT (less Kaplan, just several questions IMHO)
With better planning, I could've managed much more practice => a better score

#5: Useful resources
http://www.gmatquantum.com/ - video explanation to all Official Guide and Quant Guide problems; it was much better than reading the explanations in the guides.

6. Epilogue

GMATClub - Thank you!
additional thanks to bb - you know why (or if not, it's in the message history)

Hopefully, Stockholm School of Economics will accept me on their Master's program and I will have time to start on another test - CFA. Otherwise, I'll aim for 99th percentile next year :-D

Update: March 22nd 2012
Admitted to Bocconi University MSc in Finance & Stockholm School of Economics MSc in Finance and Accounting / Corporate Finance

PS! the 'Good Luck on the GMAT Tomorrow!' message I received last night before the exam from GMATClub was a really nice thing

Last edited by alexgmd on 21 Jul 2012, 04:01, edited 3 times in total.
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Expert Post
Founder
Founder
User avatar
Affiliations: UA-1K, SPG-G, HH-D
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 12447
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
WE: Information Technology (Hospitality and Tourism)
Followers: 2371

Kudos [?]: 9890 [0], given: 3755

GMAT ToolKit User Premium Member CAT Tests
Re: My GMAT 720 (Q49,V40) [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2011, 15:40
Expert's post
Very well done! Congratulations!
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Manager
Manager
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Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Posts: 226
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 32 [0], given: 12

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: My GMAT 720 (Q49,V40) [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2011, 23:35
Congratulations and good luck for application part

could you please post the link of
Manhattan GMAT video-course & their 750+ Seminars Question Database - found online
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 97
Location: Sweden
Concentration: Finance, International Business
Schools: Stockholm School of Economics (MSc Finance) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V40
GPA: 4
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 6

Re: My GMAT 720 (Q49,V40) [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2011, 03:20
sandeeepsharma wrote:
could you please post the link


unfortunately, since I've used them back in September, links don't work anymore. Sorry
Manager
Manager
avatar
Status: Re- Working on GMAT
Joined: 23 May 2011
Posts: 104
Location: Australia
Concentration: Leadership, General Management
GMAT 1: 600 Q44 V29
GPA: 2.4
WE: Analyst (Computer Software)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 38

Re: My GMAT 720 (Q49,V40) [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2011, 05:54
Congratulations and good luck for application part
_________________

All men dream - but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity... But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.

Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 97
Location: Sweden
Concentration: Finance, International Business
Schools: Stockholm School of Economics (MSc Finance) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V40
GPA: 4
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 6

Re: My GMAT 720 (Q49,V40) [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2011, 05:57
sunneysood wrote:
Congratulations and good luck for application part
bb wrote:
Very well done! Congratulations!

thanks guys!
Re: My GMAT 720 (Q49,V40)   [#permalink] 21 Dec 2011, 05:57
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