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My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)???

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My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 01 May 2011, 16:09
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Hello Everyone,

Finally have made some headway into my GMAT studies. As a quick review of my progress:

All MGMAT CATs:
#1: Q44 V26 580 3/6/11
#2: Q44 V36 660 3/27/11
#3: Q43 V36 650 4/9/11
#4: Q44 V40 700 4/30/11

TEST DAY: MAY 31st 2011.

So as you can see my verbal improvement has been the sole reason from 580 to 700 thus far. Interestingly enough, my study plan has been quite typical.

Study journey:
Messed around since May '09, did not get serious until Jan 2011. I would say nothing in this period would count as real study.

From Jan, got serious, become more involved with this forum, rearranged some activities to dedicate time to study, and devised a plan based on advice gained on this forum. Purchased MGMAT set, had OG12 and a 2006 PR book from long before. Took some evals and assessments, landed between 550 and 600. Discouraging, but hey you have to start somewhere.

Jan: Breezed through the PR book, I do not recommended PR. More guessing techniques (which might help you... but I would rather focus on solving the problem then become great at guessing). Started slogging through MGMAT series.

Feb: Continue slogging through MGMAT books in order.

Mar: Took a MGMAT CAT#1 - got owned. Felt sad. Collected myself. At this time I was just getting started in the MGMAT Verbal section, so I convinced myself I knew my verbal was weak. Took second CAT (#2) near the end of the month. Much better, still a ways to go. Finished all MGMAT Books. In parallel started to grind on OG problems, doing a bit from each section (PS, DS, CR, RC, SC), albeit in order. Using the guide to the guide spreadsheet to figure out weakest parts/sections. (I am making some improvements to that spreadsheet, I will post after I have made it a bit better).

Apr: Took another CAT (#3) - no improvement, slight discouragement. Realized I must not have been studying correctly. Shifted focus to sentence correction, reading the Elements of Style by Strunk and White, as well as redoing the MGMAT SC book. Continuing to work through OG12 probs and use the guide to the guide.

Took another CAT (#4) near the end of the month. Hit 700! Happy as all hell with a month left on the clock. Have come to the conclusion that my weak spot in Quant is just 700 to 800 level problems, and solving them within 2 mins. This will be my next area of focus. Looking for good resources btw. I have my eye on some MGMAT problem sets as well as GMAT club here. I think decent drilling of 700 to 800 level should get me to Q46-50 range. Also looking to continue OG12 use (almost finished now), and review SC religiously. Thankfully my RC and CR and pretty solid, so basic review of those should keep those sections healthy.

So like I said above, another month to go (test day May 31st), but time flies and no time to get cocky! My goal was 700+ before, but now I think I will aim for a 750+. Going to take CATs weekly, using the last 2 MGMAT and the GMAC ones starting 2 weeks out from test date.

Open to any questions/comments/suggestions. This forum has been extremely supportive and VERY informative, would love to continue the spirit of exchange.

I hope to hear from you and report the final score in month's time.

Bring it on GMAT! I WILL DESTROY YOU! :P :P

Last edited by humphy on 02 May 2011, 21:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 02 May 2011, 14:13
A most encouraging story. Perhaps a study plan with a few helpful tips too. Thanks and all the best to you!
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2011, 13:04
Thanks for your feedback. No doubt it has not been easy... Looking forward to getting quant and verbal juuuuust a bit higher :D

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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2011, 13:25
humphy Thanks for your post here, it is really encouraging!
After reading your story, I am inspired again! I also have my test scheduled end of May.

I have increased my verbal considerably after studying Manhatten books, however I still stuck around 30 level. yes, I admit I have actually only improved on SC & CR, and I have totally ignored RC part..

I see you have improved your verbal quite a lot, could you please provide some tips how you have studied and how you improved? It would be really great! thanks!
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 09:21
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For me, all of my verbal was weak starting (obvious). After working through te cr and rc MGMAT books, my score went up by V10. I don't know how to explain it, but I obviously picked up a thing or two during my studies. My current weakness is in SC and I am doing a chapter of the SC book a night along with SC question from og12.

It seems you are struggling with RC... For me, I actually DO NOT take notes during rc an cr questions. I find it time consuming and ineffective.


For cr, I scan the question, figure out the question type, read the passage very slowly, read the question, and the start eliminating answer choices. I look at each choice and I say to myself: "is this reasonable?" or "is this stupid". Most answer choices will fall under the stupid category because they are unrelated or erroneous or something along those lines. I think MGMAT goes through wrong answer types in great detail. From this point I am usually left with 1 or 2 answer choices. From here I try to see which one makes the most sense based on the question type. Sorry, I don't know how to go into more detail, it just comes down to logical reasoning at that point.

For RC, I scan the first question, read the passage at a comfortable pace, and don't stop to re read if there is a complex or challenging concept in one paragraph. I just make a mental note that there is a chunk of material there that is confusing ( and probably has a question on it later). After finishing, I go to the first question, read it again, then use my CR method above to answer. If the question requires me to read the passg again, I skim up to that section that it is asking about, and I read it again. Then I use CR as above. On and on until the set is done.

I think there are a few ways to approach rc:
1) comb through the passage, then answer all the q without looking back.
2) don't read the passage, then hunt for the info based on the q.
3) hybrid approach, read once, refer back to again.

I obviously use type 3, and it has done me well. Infact, in my last CAT, I was 100% in my RC.

Good luck!

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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 11:08
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Thank you very much! humphy
I wish you also best luck and success for 750!!!! cheers
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 06 May 2011, 07:13
thanks buddy, hope you get your RC locked down!
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 06 May 2011, 09:35
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sounds good humphy.

just wanted to address one thing you mentioned, about your opinion regarding guessing techniques.

i'm very similar actually, i've always been very good at math, particularly the type of logic based math that tends to be tested in standardized test situations. as such, i've really never had to worry about any test-taking techniques other than 'solving the problem'.

however, i've finally reached a point where I've determined that i'd like to spend some portion of the 1 month between now and my test day working on some of these other techniques.

i've decided this because i've noticed that many of the problems i have been missing seem like they'd be much easier solved by these other techniques, but i'm just so unfamiliar with how to apply them that i'm stuck trying to brute force it.

so anyways, your test day is 4 days before mine, good luck :D
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 17:29
Quick Update:

#5: Q47 V40 710 5/14/11

gettin closer....

going over probs I got wrong in OG12, and pounding those GMATclub tests... hopefully quant to go up. Going to to the OG12Verb supplement too, for maintenance and hopefully improvement. Reviewing SC grammar too.
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 22 May 2011, 19:05
dang.

#6: Q43 V41 700 5/22/11

grrr! I have always been better at math than English! haha now it seems Verbal is my anchor!

Gonna drill the crap out of GMAT Club tests this week. Hopefully by May 31st (Test day) my Q will improve. I realize that if I get my Q up to Q50, which is "only" ~93%tile, that puts me in the 740+ range.

TIME FOR ALL OUT BLITZKRIEG ON QUANT!
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 27 May 2011, 15:31
Wow! Great improvement on Verbal. Keep going with the good work!!!!
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 28 May 2011, 18:41
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well crap. did PowerPrep today:

5/28/11

q47 v35 670

verbal was neglected this week. Perhaps it is just nerves because test day is tuesday.

Going to try to keep pushing quant and throw in some verbal review. To be fair, the test conditions were less than ideal, and I had thought I did terrible on quant, so I think that carried over to Verbal. For some reason, words were not going into my head after reading a RC or CR.

Time to take a deep breath and work through until past the finish line!
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 30 May 2011, 02:18
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good luck for tomorrow!
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2011, 02:37
Hi..I am eagerly waiting for your debrief..I hope you did your exam well yesterday!
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2011, 16:40
Thanks for all the well wishes. Full debrief to come shortly.
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Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)??? [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2011, 17:40
Hello - check the full debrief out:
full-debrief-580-to-690-q48-v37-5month-retake-114597.html

Thanks!
Re: My GMAT Journey: 580 to 660 to 650 to 700 to (750)???   [#permalink] 02 Jun 2011, 17:40
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