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My GMAT Test Prep Experience

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Senior Manager
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My GMAT Test Prep Experience [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2006, 10:27
Started in October of 2005 with the Kaplan Course and a Kaplan Tutor.

I had a great teacher for the course and he was very helpful, however did tend to explain answers a little fast so some of it was hard to catch. The tutor was smart but could only schedule to come over to my place at 8:00 on a monday night. Imagine studying from 8-10 with a tutor on a Monday. Needless to say I didnt soak enough info in.

My score did improve from a 470 on the diag to a 590 on the Kaplan CATs (I only took 3 of them). Then the holidays hit and I dropped my studying. In Feb I invoked my higher score gurantee, started taking the class again and got my online access back. The new teacher isnt as good, actually very boring and doesnt seem to know how to articulate to the class how to grasp the concepts she is teaching.

After 3 weeks of class I signed up with a local tutor, gave up on Kaplan classes and focused on the online prep work - as well as the QBank questions. Just drilling through those has gotten me so much more comfortable with the test material. Although Kaplan is a little different format, the QBank is probably their best product.

I am also running through the test questions in Powerprep and GMAT Prep. Took my first GMAT Prep CAT last weekend and scored a 640, 39Q 39V. Needless to say I was pleased with finally breaking the 600 mark.

I would like to score in th 660-680 range, although a 700 would be perfect for me. Right now I am scheduled to take the test on April 25 but I am going to take a CAT 8 days before and decide if I am ready or if I should delay. I dont want to take the GMAT twice if I dont have to.

This forum has some interesting tipe but it is also very intimidating - seeing people with 700's who want to go retake the exam, hearing that the test has gotten harder since moving from ETP to PV, etc. This is definitely a long quest and the GMAT is only the beginning in a long line of essays, interviews, 2 years of school, and then rejoining an already extremly competitve work force. However the GMAT is probably my biggest hurdle outside of my undergrad GPA. If I can get the score I want then I will have to really put together a competitive application to ensure my acceptance.

Best of luck to all who have chosen to take the same path. Any suggestions on how to further improve would be greatly appreciated.
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Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 5925
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
WE: Business Development (Consumer Products)
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Kudos [?]: 1530 [0], given: 7

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 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2006, 11:24
Congats on the 640. Thats what I got when I took the real exam. I'm now studying for an April 19th date, trying to push my score higher. Took a practice powerprep yesterday and nearly !(*@# my pants when 720 popped up. It was all verbal improvement.

A few things I noticed:

1) It's faaar to easy to get a problem wrong, flip to the back, and say "Aaah, ok I see what I did wrong." and move on. If its somthing stupid like you divided 6 by 2 and wrote and wrote 2 down instead of 3, because you were moving fast, then its just carelessness and, unfortunately, a certain of that is bound to happen. If its because you just couldnt figure out how to solve it...

So I realized that there were a few areas I was "scared of" : Exponents, fractions and decimals and some of those chemical mixture problems as well as some of those digit problems (What is the greatest prime factor of 4^17 - 2^19 kind of problems - still not sure how to solve those).

I'm now just forcing myself to go back through these questions and do them, no matter how painful they are to do, no matter how long it takes.

Suggestions:

1) Tell me where you got hte damn powerprep software. I've been looking for it for weeks.

2) If you are having problems with specific kinds of questions, consider getting the Manhattan books on those subjects. I find them extremely helpful and light years better than Kaplan or Princeton.

3) If you don't know what kinds of problems you are having trouble with - find out. It's usually pretty easy. What makes you want to vomit when you see it? I dont vomit at rate problems, I smile. I dont' vomit at venn diagram problems. If you get scared when you see a problem, thats where your focus should be.

4) Keep an error log. It's a pain in the ass, but do it.

5) GO BACK OVER THAT LOG! This is where I was foolishly hurting myself - I'd keep a log of every question, how long each question took me, and everything in an excel sheet, but I rarely, if ever, went back. I'd say "Well I got 90% right, I'm pretty good at these." Not good enough.

6) Try and figure out where your scores vary - is there a place where you are just inconsistent - my practice exams:

test 1: 44 - 45 / 40 - 46
test 2: 43 - 44 / 38 - 39
test 3: 46 - 48 / 36 - 37
test 4: 44 - 45 / 38 - 39
test 5: 44 - 45 / 38 - 39

As you can see, my math was pretty consistent 44-45 three times with a total range of 43-48. But my verbal range was all over the board 36-46? Thats a HUGE range. Whats going on?

On the real exam, sure enough, I got a 35 on verbal and 43 on math. This told me that I'd unperformed on verbal compared to what I should, or could get. Needless to say, a 46 on verbal combined witha 43 on math would have yielded a MUCH different total score.

So I decided to focus on the verbal for a week.

Took a gmat powerprep last week, 46 quant, 44 verbal. 720 overall.

Now to repeat that on April 19th.

As for the intimidation factor,

Yes, I agree with you. It's pretty frustrating to see people with a 700 saying "Do I try again!!?" or "I studied for a week and got a 720, do I try again?". The key I think to keeping your spirits up is to remember this:

A GMAT is one piece of the application. I know people at Kellogg who got in with a 720. I know one who got a 610. Hell, I even know one who got a 550 (granted he had to reapply again). I know someone with a 760 who didn't get in.

My advice:

Figure out what problems make you scared. When you see one, take note of what kind it is. Focus on those. Determine if you are all over the board on one of hte areas, and hone in on that piece. (For me, the cause was mostly SC as the problem).
Senior Manager
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2006, 13:36
Thanks for the encouragement and advice - I have the software on my PC but when I google it, it doesnt come up. I can PM it to you - I did try renaming the .exe to .exa but it wont send - any suggestions?

If you want you can PM me your personal e-mail and I can send it there.
GMAT Club Legend
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Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 5925
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
WE: Business Development (Consumer Products)
Followers: 252

Kudos [?]: 1530 [0], given: 7

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 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2006, 14:11
pm sent.

Alternatively, upload it with megaupload.com and then send me the link!
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Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 230
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
WE: General Management (Manufacturing)
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2006, 10:01
rhyme wrote:
pm sent.

Alternatively, upload it with megaupload.com and then send me the link!


hey guys,
can u share the powerprep software with me also??
my email id is
devansh_god@yahoo.com
_________________

Eat like a Pig, Lift like a Demon & Sleep like Dead.............

  [#permalink] 10 Apr 2006, 10:01
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