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My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700

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Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 43
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 620 Q41 V35
GMAT 2: 640 Q40 V38
GMAT 3: 630 Q40 V36
GMAT 4: 700 Q47 V39
GPA: 3.81
Followers: 2

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My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700 [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2012, 13:13
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I took the GMAT test on Tuesday of last week and I hit 700.

More than anyone else, I owe my success to Rajeev. At the beginning of this year, he taught me what to study and how to study it. He also encouraged me. More than anything else, that is how my score went from 630 to 700. My deepest gratitude and thanks to Rajeev.

Also, my thanks to everyone at gmatclub for their advice and feedback over the last several months. I learned a lot and it was very helpful.

The following are my actual test results:

12/23/11 – 620 (Q41 V35) [Q57% V74%] Total: 70%
1/27/12 – 640 (Q40 V38) [Q55% V83%] Total: 74%
3/26/12 – 630 (Q40 V36) [Q55% V79%] Total: 73%
8/14/12 – 700 (Q47 V39) [73% V88%] Total: 90%

Getting to this level was an absolute battle! I STRONGLY recommend that anyone wishing to reach their target score on the GMAT read the following debrief:

my-gmat-battle-136538.html

My struggle with this test was very similar to hookemhorns612. I read his debrief on the gmatclub a few days before my test, and his advice helped me to relax, which is very important. Most important, read his key takeaways.

It seems to me that the hardest part about beating the GMAT is figuring out what to study and how to study. And, then of course you have to put the time into studying. After working all day, I typically studied 2 to 3 hours on weekdays and then 3 to 4 hours each day on the weekend. I did this for months. During this journey, the following is what I learned in order to beat the GMAT.

1.) Establish what your goal is for a GMAT score.
2.) Take a free practice test from MGMAT, Kaplan, or somebody else to figure out where you are at in comparison to your target score. And, to figure out where you are weak.
3.) Buy a general GMAT prep book like Kaplan GMAT Premier and go through it. As best as you can, try to learn the concepts and shortcuts that they teach.
4.) Take another practice test to see where you are now at and then analyze the results. What you should see at this point is that you are either very bad at quant or very bad at verbal.
5.) If you are very bad at verbal, buy the MGMAT series of books on verbal. If you are very bad at quant, like I was, buy the MGMAT series of books on quant. FYI, in order of importance you should go through the quant books in the following order:
a. Number Properties
b. Equations, Inequalities, & VICs
c. Word Translations
d. Geometry
e. Fractions, Decimals, & Percents
6.) Also, buy the GMAT Official Guide. And, the GMAT Official Guide for Quantitative review, if you are focusing on quant like me. You will need these books for doing problems assigned from the MGMAT books.
7.) Read every chapter of each book, do end of chapter problems, and also do ALL of the Official Guide problems listed in the book. If you do this, you will have done every quant problem in the Official guides. Also, keep an error log of the OG problems that you get wrong. So, that you can go back and review them again at a later time.
8.) Once you go through all of the books, do it all over a second time. In my case, I did each book twice before moving on to the next book. Yeah, I know this is a great deal of work. It took me several months. But, trust me it works. Are you thinking instead of taking a shortcut and enrolling in a GMAT review course? I tried that… For me, it didn’t help. Or, at least very little.
9.) While you are going through these books, also daily go through problem types that you have discovered that you are weak in. In the Kaplan review course that I bought there is a thing called quiz bank that contains tons of gmat style questions that are categorized by problem type and difficulty level; like Algebra and Geometry. This really helped me to gain practice and to improve my skills. But, I would imagine that other sources like MGMAT have similar resources. Also, gmatclub has tons of questions for review. I did not personally use this source, but I have heard very good things about them from others. If you are interested in the Kaplan questions that I used, there is a self study version of the Kaplan course I took that is cheaper than the review course that I bought that contains the quiz banks without the live online lessons. That would be what I would get if doing it over again. Jeff Sackman’s practice sets are also very, very, good for practice. I also Jeff’s practice problems for Algebra.
10.) After going through all of the books, twice, take another practice test. You get practice tests with your MGMAT books, so you can take one of these tests. See where you are weak and go back again and study and work problems from the areas you are weak.
11.) Keep doing step number 10 until you consistently score three times in a row at, or above, your target score. Preferably, 10 or 20 or 30 points above your target score.
12.) You might notice that I haven’t said anything yet about the GMATPrep software. This software is the best indicator of your test day performance. It contains two tests directly from the GMAT test makers. Since you want to be confident going into the real test that you will hit your target score, DON’T take these tests until you have completed step 11.
13.) However, there is an add-on that I bought for the GMATPrep software called GMATPrep Question Pack 1. I switched over to studying problems from this during my last week of studies. It was very valuable because it contains very new retired GMAT questions. So new in fact that you cannot even Google for solutions to them. No one can exactly replicate the style of gmat questions like the gmat test makers themselves. It helped me get comfortable with gmat style questions.
14.) Anyways, once you complete step 11, go ahead and take a practice test from the GMATPrep software. By this time, you should be hitting your target range. Review every problem you get right and wrong. Go back again and work on your weak areas.
15.) Take practice test #2. Go back and work on your weak areas. Again, you should be hitting within your target range.
16.) If you are not hitting your target range in the GMATPrep software, stop using it and go back to step #10. If you are hitting your target range, you should be ready for the real test.
17.) I also need to mention about mental and physical preparation. Succeeding on the real GMAT is not only about knowing the content tested, but preparing for it mentally and physically. I recommend, as best you can, try to get exercise on a regular basis and to eat healthy foods. Foods such as fish and green tea are considered by many to boost brain power. Getting good sleep is important, especially the night before. A positive mental attitude is also very important. Also, please try to relax… As I said, the link to the debrief above helped me to relax. Talk to friends. My one good friend told me that since I was scoring in my target range on my practice tests, that I should go into the real test and treat it just like another practice test. I did that and my real test scores were almost identical to my last practice test.
18.) Two more things I thought of, first get some spiral bound index cards so you can write down notes of important things you learn, like formulas and important problem solving strategies, and review them on a regular basis. I did this. Taking notes and reviewing them regularly really helped to reinforce concepts to me. Second, learn to read and understand the question you are looking at. For me, it was easy to misread a question. I would often get a question wrong not because I couldn’t do it, but because I misread and misunderstood the question. You can’t answer a question you don’t understand. It sounds simple, but it takes a lot of practice to get good at this.
19.) Finally, if you find that you make a lot of “obvious” mistakes when solving quant problems, don’t worry this almost goes completely goes away by practicing a lot of problems. For weeks, I found myself making silly mistakes when doing math problems. During my last month of study my silly mistakes went almost completely away. So, the more you practice the better you will get at solving problems and the obvious mistakes will mostly go away.

Sorry about this long debrief. I hope I described well what I had to do to succeed and I hope this in some way helps and encourages others. Most things in life that are worth anything take hard work. Believe it, you can do it!
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Re: My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700 [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2012, 13:50
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Awesome effort. Congratulations on the score. Cheers to you. I can understand how it must have felt to see 7XX on the screen.
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Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 43
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 620 Q41 V35
GMAT 2: 640 Q40 V38
GMAT 3: 630 Q40 V36
GMAT 4: 700 Q47 V39
GPA: 3.81
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 16 [1] , given: 33

Re: My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700 [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2012, 16:24
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Thanks for the congrats, I appreciate it. Yeah, it was an incredible feeling seeing that 700 come up on the screen. I could hardly believe it and thought it must have been some kind of cruel joke. But, when they gave me the hard copy of the score report I knew it was really true. So, it can be done. It takes an awful lot of work, but it really can be done.
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Re: My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700 [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2012, 20:46
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Man are you devoted or what. Going from 640 to 630 and still not giving up. :good

Half the time i don't know what to study. I'm still in the process of sorting out my schedule. Really wish someone had a legit GMAT planner to follow back on.
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Joined: 26 Aug 2011
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GMAT 1: 620 Q49 V24
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Re: My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700 [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2012, 21:21
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rsampson wrote:
More than anyone else, I owe my success to Rajeev. At the beginning of this year, he taught me what to study and how to study it. He also encouraged me. More than anything else, that is how my score went from 630 to 700. My deepest gratitude and thanks to Rajeev.

Hey Buddy, that's you being magnanimous and humble but the score is a reflection of your sincerity, hard work and perseverance...I am testimony to the hard work put in by you in spite of failures. Hats off to you buddy! I was actually praying that you get success this time because you had put in so much of effort and i wanted that it should pay off now. Rather i can't tell you how happy and satisfied i felt when i came to know the score.

rsampson wrote:
Sorry about this long debrief. I hope I described well what I had to do to succeed and I hope this in some way helps and encourages others. Most things in life that are worth anything take hard work. Believe it, you can do it!

Buddy, your debrief is long because you have so much of experience on quant that you have gained in last so many months and that you want to share with everybody else. I think you have actually designed a detailed study plan for all those struggling big time with quant. i agree with you on all the points you have mentioned from ser 1 to 19. Many thanx for writing such a wonderful and detailed debrief.
Good luck to you Rick for the future and all i want to say in the end is :-
Buddy, you have a fire in you that i haven't seen in many people and i am sure you will scale dizzy heights in the days to come.
Best wishes
Rajeev
_________________

Fire the final bullet only when you are constantly hitting the Bull's eye, till then KEEP PRACTICING.

A WAY TO INCREASE FROM QUANT 35-40 TO 47 : a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

Q 47/48 To Q 50 + the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html

Intern
Intern
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Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 43
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 620 Q41 V35
GMAT 2: 640 Q40 V38
GMAT 3: 630 Q40 V36
GMAT 4: 700 Q47 V39
GPA: 3.81
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 33

Re: My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700 [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2012, 11:26
qweert thanks for the vote of support. Yeah, there were times when I hit rock bottom and felt like giving up. The important thing is to pick yourself up and keep going. I promise you, if you don't give up you will reach your goal.

qweert wrote:
Man are you devoted or what. Going from 640 to 630 and still not giving up. :good

Half the time i don't know what to study. I'm still in the process of sorting out my schedule. Really wish someone had a legit GMAT planner to follow back on.


I know what you mean. That was my exact problem for several months. As I said, my good friend Rajeev showed me the way. I recommend that you map out a plan of how you are going to approach prepping for it and then of course stick to it. The plan that I used worked well for me. Everyone is different, but it is possible the approach I used would work for you also.
Intern
Intern
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Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 43
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 620 Q41 V35
GMAT 2: 640 Q40 V38
GMAT 3: 630 Q40 V36
GMAT 4: 700 Q47 V39
GPA: 3.81
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 33

Re: My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700 [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2012, 11:49
rajeevrks27 wrote:
Rather i can't tell you how happy and satisfied i felt when i came to know the score.


I owe it to you my good friend. Your encouragement and prayers lifted me up when I needed it. Thank you so very much.


rajeevrks27 wrote:
i am sure you will scale dizzy heights in the days to come.


Thank you again Buddy. Positive and encouraging good friends like you have shown me now that anything is possible. You told me once to not give up on my dreams. Thank you for restoring my faith in my dreams...
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Re: My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700 [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2012, 01:23
Thanks for sharing your experience. Can you pls tell us which specific Jeff Sackman's book you happen to use. Is that the 1800 problem set [~200$] or the total gmat math [~50$] or just the specific section challenge problem, like just algebra [~20$] etc. The package is expensive and would like to know which one you recommended below.

Thanks

rsampson wrote:
Jeff Sackman’s practice sets are also very, very, good for practice. I also Jeff’s practice problems for Algebra.
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Re: My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700 [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2012, 07:10
rsampson wrote:
Yeah, it was an incredible feeling seeing that 700 come up on the screen. I could hardly believe it and thought it must have been some kind of cruel joke. But, when they gave me the hard copy of the score report I knew it was really true. So, it can be done. It takes an awful lot of work, but it really can be done.

Congrats!!! Hard work pays off! I still remember the day seeing that 7xx score on the screen. I stood up trying to see if there was anyone else around to verify what I was seeing, and sat down again to see the screen again to make sure my eyes didn't play any trick on me. One of the best feelings ever personally.
Re: My GMAT Battle: 620 – 640 – 630 – 700   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2012, 07:10
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