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My GMAT journey

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Manager
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My GMAT journey [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2007, 23:27
Hi guys,

I took my GMAT test for the third time in 2 years and scored another 660 (Q46, V35). Both my previous attempts had the same score.

In my both previous attempts, I had only studied for a week or so and only book I used was pricenton review GMAT prep. This time around, I spent atleast 2 month preparing for the test (atleast 3-4 hours a day) and it was a real dedicated effort.

In my last attempts, I had not prepared for verbal section at all. This time I went through Manhattan SC, learned all the idioms I could find from different GMAT books, did 500 of each SC-1000, CR-1000 and RC-1000 documents and also studied from the LSAT Logical reasoning bible and my verbal score is lowest in the three attempts after doing all this.

I attempted all MGMAT and Power Prep tests with following results.

MGMAT 1 - 690
MGMAT 2 - 640
MGMAT 3 - 710
MGMAT 4- 670
MGMAT 5- 670

Power Prep 1 - 710
Power Prep 2 - 690

GMAT Prep 1 - 680
GMAT Prep 2 - 720

I have done all 7 manhattan guides and every other practice material I could find and I was hoping that all this would atleast add 30-40 to my base score. Also everything went well otherwise, I was feeling much better this time around and was somehow happy with my preparation.

I can't think of any reason that I shouldn't have scored better this time around. The only thing which I need to improve is that I should be spending more time on questions. I finished both the sections atleast 10 minutes before the time and probably I need to look at this more closely as I could have spent this time to improve my answer accuracy.

Any ideas, help, comments.

Thanks
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesGMAT Pill GMAT Discount Codes
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2007, 07:24
I'm sorry financeguy - I know you are probably a bit discouraged right now. I believe I made the biggest gains in my score because I kept a meticulous error log. By that, I mean that I wrote out the problem and the full explanation for every single one I got wrong, even if my error was just a stupid mistake, or misreading the question - ie, even if my mistake was NOT due to a basic lack of understanding of the material. With 10 minutes to spare on both the quant and verbal sections, I believe that you certainly have time to make the crucial incremental gains in your verbal score that you will need to send you into the 700 club. Also, when I did groups of problem sets, I was ruthless about time - I set a stopwatch, and would give myself 10 minutes and a group of five problems to do, ie two minutes per problem, and after a while I developed a real feel for my timing. This might be useful to you - take small groups of problems, set a timer, and force yourself to fill the time completely. I strongly suspect that the errors you are making in the verbal section are related to you rushing through everything. Speaking in the most general terms, for SC's, even tough ones, you should allow yourself only two minutes - less time if the answer is truly obvious to you. SC's are where you make up your time in the verbal section. For RC, obviously you must spend a bit more time. Make yourself breathe a little when you scan the passages. I don't advocate diagramming them - that would take far too much time. During my exam, I wrote down just the main point of each paragraph - something really brief - so that I had a working idea of the structure. That really helped me when I moved onto the questions, and I think it helped to keep me from making hasty, inaccurate responses. I spent the most time on CRs. Here again, I did not diagram, but did make quick notes about the structure to help me see the logic path.
Finally, in your errors on your past tests, do you see a pattern? Are you having particular difficulty with one section or one type of problem over another? If so, this might point you in the right direction for your plan of attack.
Hope this helps. Don't give up.
Cheers,
Uphillclimb
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2007, 15:51
uphillclimb wrote:
I'm sorry financeguy - I know you are probably a bit discouraged right now. I believe I made the biggest gains in my score because I kept a meticulous error log. By that, I mean that I wrote out the problem and the full explanation for every single one I got wrong, even if my error was just a stupid mistake, or misreading the question - ie, even if my mistake was NOT due to a basic lack of understanding of the material. With 10 minutes to spare on both the quant and verbal sections, I believe that you certainly have time to make the crucial incremental gains in your verbal score that you will need to send you into the 700 club. Also, when I did groups of problem sets, I was ruthless about time - I set a stopwatch, and would give myself 10 minutes and a group of five problems to do, ie two minutes per problem, and after a while I developed a real feel for my timing. This might be useful to you - take small groups of problems, set a timer, and force yourself to fill the time completely. I strongly suspect that the errors you are making in the verbal section are related to you rushing through everything. Speaking in the most general terms, for SC's, even tough ones, you should allow yourself only two minutes - less time if the answer is truly obvious to you. SC's are where you make up your time in the verbal section. For RC, obviously you must spend a bit more time. Make yourself breathe a little when you scan the passages. I don't advocate diagramming them - that would take far too much time. During my exam, I wrote down just the main point of each paragraph - something really brief - so that I had a working idea of the structure. That really helped me when I moved onto the questions, and I think it helped to keep me from making hasty, inaccurate responses. I spent the most time on CRs. Here again, I did not diagram, but did make quick notes about the structure to help me see the logic path.
Finally, in your errors on your past tests, do you see a pattern? Are you having particular difficulty with one section or one type of problem over another? If so, this might point you in the right direction for your plan of attack.
Hope this helps. Don't give up.
Cheers,
Uphillclimb


Thanks a lot Uphillclimb,

This is the kind of feedback I was actually hoping for. Last night I went through all the previous tests and tried to figure out what went wrong for me. Not surprisingly, most of my mistakes come from trying to rush through a question and just 3-4 more wrong questions is enough to make a huge difference in your GMAT score.

Specifically, I need to spend more time and effort on DS questions. Since most DS format question make you look at the question from more than one angles and being in a rush, I have a strong likelihood of overlooking minor details.

I was more shocked at my verbal score but I am the kind of guy who would always narrow down the answer to two possible choices and then picking one and going forward and thus avoid the hardwork of finding the best of the two answer and I guess that's what differentiates a 660 test taker from 700 test taker.

Thanks
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Re: My GMAT journey [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2007, 17:04
financeguy wrote:
Hi guys,

I took my GMAT test for the third time in 2 years and scored another 660 (Q46, V35). Both my previous attempts had the same score.

In my both previous attempts, I had only studied for a week or so and only book I used was pricenton review GMAT prep. This time around, I spent atleast 2 month preparing for the test (atleast 3-4 hours a day) and it was a real dedicated effort.

In my last attempts, I had not prepared for verbal section at all. This time I went through Manhattan SC, learned all the idioms I could find from different GMAT books, did 500 of each SC-1000, CR-1000 and RC-1000 documents and also studied from the LSAT Logical reasoning bible and my verbal score is lowest in the three attempts after doing all this.

I attempted all MGMAT and Power Prep tests with following results.

MGMAT 1 - 690
MGMAT 2 - 640
MGMAT 3 - 710
MGMAT 4- 670
MGMAT 5- 670

Power Prep 1 - 710
Power Prep 2 - 690

GMAT Prep 1 - 680
GMAT Prep 2 - 720

I have done all 7 manhattan guides and every other practice material I could find and I was hoping that all this would atleast add 30-40 to my base score. Also everything went well otherwise, I was feeling much better this time around and was somehow happy with my preparation.

I can't think of any reason that I shouldn't have scored better this time around. The only thing which I need to improve is that I should be spending more time on questions. I finished both the sections atleast 10 minutes before the time and probably I need to look at this more closely as I could have spent this time to improve my answer accuracy.

Any ideas, help, comments.

Thanks


Im sorry to hear that man. I believe you are nothing short of a 700level. Uphillclimb has some excellent suggestions.
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2007, 18:30
Honestly, I had two responses to your post in mind, but eventually I decided to go with this one:

For quant:
------------
You are already at 46 and need about 1-3 more points to secure a 700 level quant score. Try figuring your weakness areas in terms of topic area. For example, if you feel number properties are usually too tricky to you, stop studying quant and focus only on number properties questions by searching the math forum for number properties posts only. This will help to levarage your performance at your weakness area questions.

You may also try the GMATclub challenges; very popular for 48+ scorers in quant.

For Verbal
-------------
You seem to be okay with timing as you finished the section with 10 minutes to spare. You now need to worry about accuracy for CR and SC problems. try the SC 1000 series and Please trust me: go over the logic and methods used by GMATclubbers in CR posts you can find at the verbal forum of this website. VERY HELPFUL --> more than the OG official explanations !!

You're lucky you have no problems with stamina throughout the test. THat usually is a problem for many test takers. I don't think you are too far from scoring a 720+ or so.


NOW, only FYI: this was my second option for my response to your post. How do you like it ?

I think you must also reconsider your decision about getting an MBA. Most people just want to do an MBA but you might have skills more suited toward another career. An MBA is not the only thing in this world and someone scoring more than others mean they are more suitable for an academic environment designed for business studies but don't forget the fact that most of the real business leaders never did an MBA and still achieved the heights of their professions.

While I believe that with some concentrated effort anyone can achieve a 700+ plus in GMAT and also go to an Art school but that wouldn't be the optimal use of our energies.

Good luck.
Manager
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Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 197
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2007, 18:55
Mishari wrote:
Honestly, I had two responses to your post in mind, but eventually I decided to go with this one:

For quant:
------------
You are already at 46 and need about 1-3 more points to secure a 700 level quant score. Try figuring your weakness areas in terms of topic area. For example, if you feel number properties are usually too tricky to you, stop studying quant and focus only on number properties questions by searching the math forum for number properties posts only. This will help to levarage your performance at your weakness area questions.

You may also try the GMATclub challenges; very popular for 48+ scorers in quant.

For Verbal
-------------
You seem to be okay with timing as you finished the section with 10 minutes to spare. You now need to worry about accuracy for CR and SC problems. try the SC 1000 series and Please trust me: go over the logic and methods used by GMATclubbers in CR posts you can find at the verbal forum of this website. VERY HELPFUL --> more than the OG official explanations !!

You're lucky you have no problems with stamina throughout the test. THat usually is a problem for many test takers. I don't think you are too far from scoring a 720+ or so.


NOW, only FYI: this was my second option for my response to your post. How do you like it ?

I think you must also reconsider your decision about getting an MBA. Most people just want to do an MBA but you might have skills more suited toward another career. An MBA is not the only thing in this world and someone scoring more than others mean they are more suitable for an academic environment designed for business studies but don't forget the fact that most of the real business leaders never did an MBA and still achieved the heights of their professions.

While I believe that with some concentrated effort anyone can achieve a 700+ plus in GMAT and also go to an Art school but that wouldn't be the optimal use of our energies.

Good luck.


Thanks Mishari,

I agree with most of what you said. The second advice looks familiar but I would not have even tried the second time around if I had scored less than 600 or so. I believe that 660 is not a bad score and it can get you to the best of the best business schools. It's 86 percentile which means you are better suited for an MBA academic environment than are 86% other people who took the test.

I think this time around, I need to focus more on my test taking strategies and not on the concepts. In my previous attempts, my only weapon was test taking strategies taught by princeton review and I hardly knew anything but the basic concepts. This time around I remember every single word problem from Manhattan GMAT books and still the same result. I guess MGMAT is not a good strategy if not combined with more practical test taking advice from Kaplan or Princeton Review.

Thanks
  [#permalink] 17 Oct 2007, 18:55
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