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700 (Q49, V35) to 750 (Q48,V46) in 5 weeks

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700 (Q49, V35) to 750 (Q48,V46) in 5 weeks [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2011, 03:28
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Hi,

I wrote the GMAT yesterday and scored 700. (Q49 and V35).

While, I agree that this is a good score, I am really disappointed and I will explain the reasons for that in my post. I am a non-native speaker with an engineering background so Verbal was my weak link when I started my prep.

Prep:

1. All MGMAT Books except the one for CR.
2. PowerScore CR Bible
3. Aristotle SC Grail
4. GMATClub Tests
5. OG12 and OG Math & Verbal Review

1. MGMAT Books:

These books are really good. They are good in terms of building your concepts and laying a strong foundation. (Both Quant & Verbal, especially SC). I did not read the CR book so can't comment about it. Anyone who wants to start preparing for GMAT should start with these books. Also, I felt that the RC book was useful but not that great. However, the math and SC books are top notch.

2. PowerScore CR Bible

This book is the best book for preparing for CR. Just read this book once and your hit rate in CR questions will be greater than 90%. There is no need for anything else. This book also indirectly helps you for RC.

3. Aristotle SC Grail

This is a useful document for re-enforcing the concepts learned with MGMAT SC. My hit rate on SCs was very poor but after going through this document it improved significantly. So my strategy was simple, I used MGMAT SC to develop a base for SC question types and re-enforced my concepts using the Aristotle SC Grail. I feel that this document on its own will not help you get a 700 + score.

4. GMATClub Tests

I can't thank the creators of these tests enough. While I was able to do all the math questions using the concepts I picked up with MGMAT SC, I was having a hard time with time management. If you are already around the 40 level on Maths, then practicing with these tests will take your score in the 48-51 range. Highly recommended!!

5. OG12 and OG reviews

Needless to say that this is the best practice for GMAT type questions. However, the level of difficulty in the earlier questions is not that challenging and if you are looking for a high score(700+) then you need to practice using other sources.

Time Duration of the Prep

Studied on and off from Feb to May with a full time job that requires me to work 72 + hours a week. That meant that I could not study more than 10 hours a week.

Last month of exam I took some time off from work and really pushed myself to study on average 3-4 hours daily.

AWA

Everything was pretty simple and straight forward. It was in line with the experiences shared by other users.

I was short of time on AOI and hence, could not check my work. Just received the AWA scores and got 6.0 (91%) in AWA. Seems that lack of checking in AOI did not affect my score. However, I strongly suggest that you write 5 paragraphs in 25 minutes and leave 5 minutes for checking. Write as much as you can. I believe I wrote around 500+ words.

Just follow the template of chineseburned! They are extremely good. I followed them myself and practiced for a few hours before the test. The result just goes on to prove their effectiveness.


CATs vs Actual GMAT

I wrote the MGMAT CATs and two CATs from GMATPREP. I wrote full CATs each time including AWAs.

The level of Math on MGMAT CATs is much harder than the actual GMAT. The verbal on MGMAT and the verbal plus math on GMATPREP is representative of the actual GMAT.

My test scores in the order of writing them were:

MGMAT CAT 1 650 Q41 V38
MGMAT CAT 2 670 Q40 V41
MGMAT CAT 3 610 Q50 V34

I took the first three at around 50% of my preparation and hence, I feel that they are not really indicative of my true scoring potential. After getting a 610 in my 3rd CAT, I decided that I will only write CATs once I am done with my prep
---------------------------------
GMATPREP 1 720 Q50 V38
MGMAT CAT 4 730 Q50 V39
GMATPREP 2 740 Q50 V40
MGMAT CAT 5 730 Q48 V42
MGMAT CAT 6 750 Q51 V41


Actual GMAT 700 Q49 V35

On the actual GMAT, QUANT was the same as always. I felt I was running short of time so took 2-3 guesses mid way. Got a question which talked about "mode, median and mean" of some statistics. I had never seen a question on "mode" in MGMAT or GMATPREP so that was a bit surprising. Combining my educated guesses and room for silly mistakes, I don't think that I got more then 6-7 questions wrong. The last 3-4 questions which I got were easy so I realized that no way was I going to get a 51 but I was expecting a score of 50 points.

In verbal I felt I was doing very well at the halfway mark. I had done 21 questions and I had 37 minutes remaining. It is at this time that I became complacent and relaxed. I then got a very difficult& long passage full of terms on botany and I think I spent a lot of time in trying to understand the passage. That totally ruined my timing. When I next looked at the clock I had 8 minutes remaining and I still had to do 9 more questions. This made me panic and I had to rush through. I had to guess 3 questions blindly and I also ended up leaving the last question unanswered. I hope that my post helps everyone realize about the importance of time management and of not becoming complacent or relaxing mid way during the exam.

So basically, the score I got on verbal (V35) is much lower than the score I had been getting on my practice exams. I think that this score is not really representative of what I can accomplish. I feel I should re-take the exam and do better in terms of time management. Improving from 35 to 41-42 points on Verbal should be possible. I agree that improving on Quantitative will be tough so if I do retake the exam, my aim would be to just maintain this score, if not improve it. I really need some advice about this as I just cannot seem to make up my mind :( . Advice/comments are welcome and also if anyone has any questions, I will be glad to answer them.

Thanks!


p.s. I wrote the GMAT again after 5 weeks and managed to improve my score. Debrief about the second attempt in the posts below.

Last edited by forsaken11 on 19 Jul 2011, 01:27, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2011, 04:21
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First of all, Congratulations! 700 is a great score. However, if you feel that the score you received is not indicative of your true abilities, I think you should retake it again.
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2011, 04:33
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Firstly 700 is a brilliant score. No doubts on that.

Now your retaking decision depends on your goals and bschool targets. If your score is sufficient for your target bschool then dont bother retaking.

If you are facing time crunch then work on your application instead.

If not then take some time off and retake the test after a month or so. I think you can definitely hit 51 in quant and 40-43 in Verbal (or even more). RC sure is a pain but conquerable.

Checkout some retaking strategies on this forum.

Hope that helps. All the best!
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2011, 10:59
Thanks guys!

I am targeting the top tier schools so my score is below average for some of them :(
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2011, 11:53
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Congratulations on an excellent score. I personally would focus more on application at this point as retaking would potentially give you less time for completing the applications for the first round (assuming you are targeting Fall 2012 start) but that's me.
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2011, 12:12
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heregoesnothing wrote:
Congratulations on an excellent score. I personally would focus more on application at this point as retaking would potentially give you less time for completing the applications for the first round (assuming you are targeting Fall 2012 start) but that's me.


I agree with heregoesnothing. And because you are not a native speaker, I assume that you'll require extra time to write compelling essays. 700 is great! :)

How many are you applying to in R1? Perhaps if you have some time left over (provided that you work really hard to complete those applications ahead of time), you can retake it. But I do agree that at this point you'd want to start focusing on your application content. I read somewhere that a high GMAT doesn't necessarily get you in, but a LOW gmat most definitely increases the chances of keeping you out. Even if 700 is a little below average for some of the schools you are targeting, it is not low enough to be significant enough to keep you out. 700 is definitely a high score. Just my humble opinion. However, if your essays are not compelling, then no question you won't get in the top 10...
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2011, 06:56
enkie wrote:
heregoesnothing wrote:
Congratulations on an excellent score. I personally would focus more on application at this point as retaking would potentially give you less time for completing the applications for the first round (assuming you are targeting Fall 2012 start) but that's me.


I agree with heregoesnothing. And because you are not a native speaker, I assume that you'll require extra time to write compelling essays. 700 is great! :)

How many are you applying to in R1? Perhaps if you have some time left over (provided that you work really hard to complete those applications ahead of time), you can retake it. But I do agree that at this point you'd want to start focusing on your application content. I read somewhere that a high GMAT doesn't necessarily get you in, but a LOW gmat most definitely increases the chances of keeping you out. Even if 700 is a little below average for some of the schools you are targeting, it is not low enough to be significant enough to keep you out. 700 is definitely a high score. Just my humble opinion. However, if your essays are not compelling, then no question you won't get in the top 10...


That's a valid point. I am planning to apply to 3 schools in Round 1. I am still confused to be honest. I have to write the TOEFL as well.
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2011, 07:31
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forsaken11 wrote:
That's a valid point. I am planning to apply to 3 schools in Round 1. I am still confused to be honest. I have to write the TOEFL as well.


More reason to focus on application. TOEFL is notorious for taking forever to report score in my experience. They took almost a 3 weeks to report my wife's score.
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2011, 20:21
heregoesnothing wrote:
forsaken11 wrote:
That's a valid point. I am planning to apply to 3 schools in Round 1. I am still confused to be honest. I have to write the TOEFL as well.


More reason to focus on application. TOEFL is notorious for taking forever to report score in my experience. They took almost a 3 weeks to report my wife's score.



I had a question regarding toefl. Do they tend to give you an unofficial score once you finish your exam?
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2011, 21:43
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I strongly recommend you to sit again for new test. Its really disappointing that ur verbal section remained incomplete. And its truly has demaged ur score.Ur score would have been far better if u had completed ur verbal section. Definetly 20-30 points less than wat may had actually been for u. So definetly i recommend u to retake the test....
Best of luck....
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2011, 23:13
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Still like to say congratulations even though you're dissappointed.. I think it's a great score..
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2011, 09:08
Congratulations and all the best for your applications!+1
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2011, 22:44
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champ

this is a good score. Pls first find out which b-school u fit in vs what u aspire to get in. if ur score does not fit, u may want to repeat. school do consider avg of 2 score as well and hence with improvement also benefit may not be substantial.

other part of application like your academic, work ex, application essay are also imp and hence getting too much onto the gmat score may not be good idea.

all the best. :)
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 6.0 [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2011, 01:20
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I have edited my post to include comments about AWA. Just received the scores, and they second what everyone else has been saying on these forums: follow the templates developed by chinesebured!
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 6.0 [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2011, 05:09
Hi forsaken11

I got your PM regarding toefl but am not able to send you PM due to technical problem...can you PM your email ID?
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 6.0 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 08:05
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Hello Everyone!

I wrote the GMAT yesterday and am very happy to report that I was able to improve my score to 750. (Q48 and V46). Obviously, am very thrilled with the increase and really happy that I decided to write the test again. I could have done better had I maintained my Quant score at the same level as the last time but I am satisfied nonetheless.

Thanks to everyone for their help and advice. Also a big thanks to the gmatclub for providing me with the material that I used to raise my score in verbal. (GMAT Prep SC and CR documents)

One piece of advice for Quant - During the one month between my two attempts I did not focus that much on Quant and I feel that this lack of practice contributed to the decline in my score. During the exam I was struggling with Quant questions and once the section was over, I was really afraid that I had blown my chances of increasing my score. Thankfully, I managed to do well in Verbal which more than offset the decrease in my Quant score.

If anyone has any questions or any other queries then please let me know. I will be glad to help out!

p.s. my exam included a 30 minute section at the end about future GMAT questions. I was too much in a hurry to see my scores that I just answered all of them randomly :)
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 6.0 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 08:17
Wow congrats on 11 point increase in verbal...please share your strategies to improve verbal!!
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 6.0 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 08:48
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 6.0 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 09:57
haha...^What is that for ? :S
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Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 6.0 [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2011, 11:09
nice 2-nd try
Re: My GMAT Experience 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 6.0   [#permalink] 18 Jul 2011, 11:09
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