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My GMAT Experience Debrief

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My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2010, 10:48
I was asked to post a debrief of my experience in another thread. I had written quite a bit for my first attempt, but I left the computer and my login timed out. My second attempt was rejected because it contained a link to the thread with the debrief request. Here's my third (and shortest attempt).

I took the GMAT last Saturday and got a score of 770 (Q48, V48). Update: I recieved the official score report, and I got a 6.0 for AWA. I found that chineseburned's 6.0 AWA guide was invaluable; I would definitely recommend it to everyone. Many kudos!!!

Books Used:
- (1 week) Princeton - completely useless...only good for familiarizing yourself with the test format
- (1 week) Kaplan - too many useless (IMHO) quant tricks such as backsolving and plugging in numbers...I found directly solving for answers was faster and much easier
- (rest of the ~2 months) MGMAT Set with OG's - bought due to recommendations from the GMAT Club Forum =)

Practice Tests:
- Just 2 GMATPrep Exams (Both identical 760 score, forgot the breakdown but Q was higher) the day before the test, because I had fallen behind schedule and also because I got sick the week before the exam, so sick that I couldn't study for a couple of days =(

Test Strategies:
- tried to maintain at least 2:00 per question left at all times
- ended up with about 12 mins left when I finished quant, 8 mins for verbal.

Last edited by cosmintruta on 14 Oct 2010, 06:55, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2010, 10:51
(moved the missing info. as an edit to the original post)
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Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2010, 11:40
great score
all the best fr ur apps
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Amar
http://amarnaik.wordpress.com

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Schools: Wharton/Lauder - Class of 2013
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Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2010, 11:50
Congrats!! That's an amazing verbal score!! Just curious if you have any suggestions on doing so well on verbal? Did you have to work on it or are you a natural?
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Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2010, 01:36
I am also very curious as to how to achieve such a verbal score
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Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2010, 19:40
congrats!!!! gud luck for ur app!!!
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Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2010, 03:43
how did you improve your accuracy.Generally i get 9,10 problems wrong in one test
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Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2010, 06:54
For verbal, I found the MGMAT Sentence Correction book to be an excellent resource compared to what was mentioned in the Princeton and Kaplan guides. My background may have helped a bit, as I am a native English speaker and it is my mother tongue. However, my educational background wasn't helpful; I was an EECS major in undergrad. I enjoy reading a wide variety of nonfiction material such as newspapers, magazines and books, and that might have helped. I'm not sure how much you can raise your score by reading sophisticated material, as I didn't purposely increase my reading to prepare for the GMAT. One might think that I'm a bit weird as I actually enjoyed reading the supposedly boring GMAT passages, and I found that I gained quite a bit of general knowledge, which is always good for small talk :) .

Regarding verbal strategies, I never really learned formal grammar properly (I blame it on the education system here, which encourages young kids to naturally learn grammar through writing instead of teaching them the formal rules and structure). To me, sentences just naturally sound right or wrong. However, simply using this method gave me trouble when I was going through the Kaplan book, and I performed very poorly on the Kaplan practice questions. Through GMAT Club, I found out about the MGMAT series, which I found very helpful. I was able to incorporate the rules I learned with my natural intuition, and I was answering questions much more quickly and confidently. The answers were now the ones that sounded the best and did not violate any of the rules.

Another key for me was the importance of meaning in SC questions, as I realized that many questions contain answers with tiny nuances that subtly change the meaning of the passage, and also reazlied that the answer must best reflect the original intent of the author. After I realized this key point, my SC performance greatly improved.

Hope that helps

Last edited by cosmintruta on 14 Oct 2010, 07:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2010, 07:01
mrinal2100 wrote:
how did you improve your accuracy.Generally i get 9,10 problems wrong in one test


If you generally still have time left at the end of practice sections, I would recommend doublechecking your answers. Personally, I did not doublecheck any of my answers on the GMATPreps or the real GMAT, as I was constantly worrying about the possibility that a killer question might lurk on the horizon (perhaps I was being too optimistic?).
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Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2010, 07:26
cosmintruta wrote:
For verbal, I found the MGMAT Sentence Correction book to be an excellent resource compared to what was mentioned in the Princeton and Kaplan guides. My background may have helped a bit, as I am a native English speaker and it is my mother tongue. However, my educational background wasn't helpful; I was an EECS major in undergrad. I enjoy reading a wide variety of nonfiction material such as newspapers, magazines and books, and that might have helped. I'm not sure how much you can raise your score by reading sophisticated material, as I didn't purposely increase my reading to prepare for the GMAT. One might think that I'm a bit weird as I actually enjoyed reading the supposedly boring GMAT passages, and I found that I gained quite a bit of general knowledge, which is always good for small talk :) .

Regarding verbal strategies, I never really learned formal grammar properly (I blame it on the education system here, which encourages young kids to naturally learn grammar through writing instead of teaching them the formal rules and structure). To me, sentences just naturally sound right or wrong. However, simply using this method gave me trouble when I was going through the Kaplan book, and I performed very poorly on the Kaplan practice questions. Through GMAT Club, I found out about the MGMAT series, which I found very helpful. I was able to incorporate the rules I learned with my natural intuition, and I was answering questions much more quickly and confidently. The answers were now the ones that sounded the best and did not violate any of the rules.

Another key for me was the importance of meaning in SC questions, as I realized that many questions contain answers with tiny nuances that subtly change the meaning of the passage, and also reazlied that the answer must best reflect the original intent of the author. After I realized this key point, my SC performance greatly improved.

Hope that helps


That definitely helps! I pretty much ignore the meaning when it comes to SC - probably a bad strategy! Interesting thing is I was doing well on SC but the more I studied, the more I started questioning the correct answers - I knew there could be nuances and started looking for them even on questions where it didn't matter. I've been trying to use my ear more but still not panning out. :(
Re: My GMAT Experience Debrief   [#permalink] 14 Oct 2010, 07:26
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