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My Knewton GMAT Story..

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My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2010, 09:46
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Hello All,

I know that quite a few of you are uncertain about which GMAT course to sign up for (especially if you are a repeat GMAT taker like myself). Before Knewton, I took a Kaplan course and a few private tutoring sessions. So I started Knewton with an official score of 630(Q47/V30).

I took a 6 month break from studying and began with the Knewton Diagnostic:

Diagnostic GMAT 07/17/2010 at 11:48AM (Q:48 V:34 680)

I then signed up for the class. The first few Quant sessions were a bit slow for me since I have a good handle on the Quant basics. However, the early verbal classes were great. The classes really set a clear foundation. As for studying, I viewed the on-demand classes and I did the homework plus the extra practice problems.

Almost a month later after my Diagnostic, I have taken a CAT on a weekly basis (Saturday mornings). Here are the results.

Practice GMAT #1 08/14/2010 at 01:48PM (Q:43 V:34 640)

Practice GMAT #2 08/21/2010 at 01:53PM (Q: 42 V: 37 640)

Practice GMAT #3 08/29/2010 at 02:27PM (Q:45 V34 640)

According to Knewton's progress bars, I am fairly solid in Quant, but I need to improve my Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning.

I have no idea why my CAT score dropped 40 points nor why I am scoring 640 evertime. In anycase, I have one more Knewton CAT to take this Saturday and my official exam is set for September 13th.

I would appreciate any advice for utilizing my final 14 days.

I hope my story helps :-)
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2010, 10:00
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jo9el,

I think you should go ahead and take one of the GMAT prep tests to see where you are actually at. These tests are the best indicators of your scores on the real thing.

As for what you should do on the next 14 days here's some advice that I found on the net from Stacey Koprince, A MGMAT Instructor.

---------
Last two weeks are generally for review, not major new learning.

T - 2 weeks:
- make sure your pacing is solid
- review your educated guessing strategies
- do a thorough analysis of your strengths and weaknesses
- use that analysis to decide your priorities on the test, eg
... DO spend a little extra time, if necessary, on questions that are in your "strength" category
... Be quicker to pull the plug, when necessary, on questions that are in your "weakness" category
... DO NOT spend extra time on questions that are in your "weakness" category
... and so on

1 week to go: take your last practice test, trying to implement what you decided above

Spend the next 3 days going over that test and figuring out what you did well (so you can repeat that) and what you didn't do well (and how to fix that). Note that "how to fix" doesn't mean - I don't know how to do all of these problems so let's learn how now. You aren't going to learn much detail with only a few days to go. Instead, you should tell yourself "That's one of my weaknesses - I should have recognized that and let the problem go rather than wasting a lot of time on it" and "How should I make an educated guess here?"

Spend the last 3 days reviewing pacing, high-level strategies, and educated guessing. Adjust your "strengths and weaknesses" plan, if necessary, based upon your results on the last test.

Day before: no more than 60-90 minutes of high-level review. Relax that evening, have a good dinner, get a good night's sleep - all the obvious stuff.

The day of, about 30-60 minutes before the test, do some VERY easy practice problems in your area of strength (math or verbal). Just do some from the low numbers of the OG - and DON'T look at the answers (don't even bring them with you). You're just warming up your brain here, not trying to learn anything.

And plan something to do afterward, no matter what you get - meet friends or family for a drink or food. Just acknowledge that you accomplished something, even if you don't get the score you want that first time out.

Good luck!
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2010, 10:12
Thanks for the advice :-) I will keep the community up to date.
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2010, 10:18
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2010, 17:31
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Since you have a limited time left, I'd focus on the error log and see which questions you're getting wrong and the general areas you need to focus on. When you identify your weaknesses, try to concentrate only on those areas and get back on track. I am sure you can achieve the score you want. As bb suggested, the links would be extremely helpful.

Also, I'd also recommend doing 5-6 random problems from the GMAT Club forum every day. Use the "Tag Index" classification and just do the 600-700 and 700+ level problems. This will help you create a balance for the type of questions.

As for your verbal, don't change your strategy, just see what kind of mistakes you're making. A lot of the times, at the last minute, people go with the right strategy but a small nuance can make a big difference with the GMAT. So make sure you're brushed up on all the main concepts. Hope this helps :)
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2010, 10:16
Thanks for all the responses.

I took my last Knewton CAT last night (w/o essays)

Practice GMAT #4 09/01/2010 at 08:08PM (Q:47 V:36 680)

I warmed up with some SC before starting the CAT so I think that may have helped. Consequently, I think I may sign up for an afternoon slot for Test Day.

As for error log, I do not have one :-( However Knewton, provides progress bars that show the areas of weakness. I will take the GMAC CAT this Saturday. I haven't taken a GMAC CAT in over 7 months so hopefully the questions will seem fresh to me.

Also, since I am done with the Knewton tests, my strategy is to take 4 MGMAT CATS in the final week and then take my last GMAC CAT On Saturday (test is on Monday). Does that make sense?
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 03 Sep 2010, 05:54
best of luck
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 05 Sep 2010, 21:38
Hi,
All the best for ur exam,,As only less time is left i will say revise ur errors and mistakes and also try to solid ur previuos concepts,may be by watching few knewton concept videos espicially on Verbal part also go thru their pdf of Class course...
U may say u have less time but they have only 24-25 such pdf just skimming thru will bring the concepts back to mind which u learned in class..
I hope it helps..
Again All the Best
Thanx
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 10:05
Well I am getting down to the wire..

This week I took 2 Manhattan GMAT CATS (no essays). Tuesdays score (Q:44 V: 41 700) and Wednesday's score (Q:47 V:40 710). The Manhattan GMAT Quant questions are much more time consuming than the Knewton Quant.

Today is Thursday and I am scheduled to take the exam on Monday. Besides taking one more Manhattan GMAT CAT on Saturday and reviewing some weak areas, does anyone have any other advice?
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 14:08
Stay relaxed the entire time and make sure you have adequate rest before the test. Watch good movies :)
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 16:05
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as a knewton alumni, good luck to you!
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2010, 15:19
Well I took the real test today and bombed the Quant (Q:39 V:36 620). I had a feeling towards the end of the quant that I was doing poorly since I didn't see any probability questions. The last time I took the test in January, I got a 47 on the Quant so I'm not sure how I messed this one up.

In anycase, I feel pretty defeated about today. I don't know if I should take it again in a month or just call it quits since my first application is due Nov 15. Today was my 6th time taking the GMAT in 2 years.
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2010, 17:40
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hey there, Sorry to hear about the experience. Unfortunately retaking does not automatically mean a higher score :(
You're definitely not alone. I do admire your perseverance. What was your highest GMAT score?
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2010, 09:31
630 (Q:47 V:30) (January 2010). I think I know where I went wrong.. I focused on mainly the Knewton problems and MGMAT CATs. I did not spend much time with the Official Guide. When I took the exam in January, 90% of the problems I did were Official Guide Problems.

I plan to re-take the exam in 1 month and use that month to go through the Official Guide. Does that seem like a good strategy?
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2010, 20:54
So I'm prepping to give the GMAT my last shot. This time I'm making an Error Log. It's been tedious to do so but it sounds like it's essential. So far, I have went through the Official Guide's Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency, and Critical Reason once. I do about 3 RC passages a night.

I just took my first GMAT Focus exam. I was disappointed that it used some of the questions from the Official Guide #12 because these GMAT Focus tests are not cheap (3 for $65..24 Questions Each Test). It ranked me at 46-50 but that may be skewed since I saw some of the problems before.

The Big Day is October 16 so I'm always open to reading some great advice. I would love to hit a 680 (80%Q and 80%V).
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2010, 21:05
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2010, 05:55
Good luck on the retake. Did you get a refund from Knewton because of their 50 point guarantee?
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2010, 07:21
I requested it yesterday so I'm sure I will receive it in a few days.
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2010, 19:11
jo9el, Thanks to your debrief otherwise I would not have planned more time for OGs.
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Re: My Knewton GMAT Story.. [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2010, 19:42
Did you do each and every homework, test and class of knewton and still did not do well?
Re: My Knewton GMAT Story..   [#permalink] 23 Sep 2010, 19:42
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