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Need advice in going from 690 to 720+

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Need advice in going from 690 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2008, 14:04
Hi all,

it's great to find this forum as I am truely inspired to again try to tackle the most dreaded part of the application process, i.e., the GMAT.

I gave my GMAT back in September and got a score of 690; I had preped for 3 months using the OG guides and the MGMAT guides.

I thought this was good enough of a score to get me into NYU, Darden, Cornell and Ross but so far I have been dinged by cornell, and ross. I haven't heard back from NYU yet and am on the waitlist for Darden (after interview). I am starting to think that my gmat was one of the major problems as I am Indian and the average score for an indian applicant is 720+ for these schools. It is tough to make it into these school especially for an Indian applicants as there are toooo many of us with stellar scores appling there.

For Darden, I don't think the gmat was that big of a problem; the problem was that my interview was with a second year student. We never really hit it off during the interview and, at the risk of sounding jilted, I would say that lacking the experience and perspective the guy judged me by his own subjective perspective and perception. There are also a few things he said during the interview about current international students which freaked me out and convinced me of his bias. I can't say those things on the forum but I doubt that he wrote a good feedback for me.

advice: if you get an interview with an school, try to do it oncampus if in US and that also with only adcom as they are more experienced and have a wider comparative framework.

anyway, I am planning to do the gmat again with the hopes of raising my score by atleast 30 points so i can have a fighting chance on the waitlist or to have a better chance next year. I would greatly appreciate all the advice I can get regarding the strategies and preparation process.

Though, I am of Indian origin I haven't lived in India since I was ten and don't have the genious quant skills that my indian brothers and sisters have :( the break down of my score was: v 40(89%) & Q 45(77%).

89% in verbal is the lowest score I got. in all my practice tests I scored substantially higer than that so I am not so very worried about verbal part as I think I just need to refresh the learnings and polish my CR a little bit. As for quant, I am REALLY bad.

I am planning to prepare for next four-five weeks and maybe spend 4-5 hours per day. what sources should i use to improve my quant score.

thanks for advice and suggestions.

best of luck to all...you can do it!!
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Re: Need advice in going from 690 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2008, 15:11
You've already found your best source. This forum and the GMAT Club Challenges. Use OG11 and MGMAT for more help/practice, but I bet you can bump your score just hanging out here and solving every problem you can find.
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Re: Need advice in going from 690 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 06:32
Sorry about dings and waitlist. Hopefully NYU will come through for you. I thought your life experiences determine your demographic. Your story should be very different from people who grew up in India. May be I'm wrong.
As for your original question, practice and more practice. But identify weak areas in quant. Is it a particular area (algebra, geometry, number properties) or type of question(ds vs ps). Identify it and focus to improve it. Good luck
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Re: Need advice in going from 690 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 06:49
Thanks Travel09...

I think life experiences do matter and play an important role in differentiating the applicants. However, the bar is quite high for Indians...both in terms of the competencies (scores, stats etc.) and uniqueness (ECs and life story). Since, there are soo many of applying to almost all the same schools (top10-15) that it becomes very hard to get away by being strong in one or the other. Given the sterotype, we have to get above at least 700 to have any real chance of getting our applications read seriously. We can't be just 'top' or 'unique', we have to be BOTH... :(

anyways, as for the practice...do you guys suggest I should just follow this board and do all the probelms posted here or is it worth it for me to redo all the OG problems again? I did all the probelms few times when the gave the exam last time. Last night, I did all the tough OG problems (20-25) from my error log and was able to do them. I find OG probelms to be quite easy except a few...should I just participate on the board?

also, my weak areas are pretty evenly split between DS & PS, easy & tough, and different problem types. The worst are the coordinate problems and the probability/permutation problems. are their any 'quick' study guides/notes on the forum that I can use to improve these areas.

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Re: Need advice in going from 690 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 11:46
You are right Jay. Competition is tough. I found this forum after writing my GMAT but I'm sure you can find cheat sheets with formulas posted. You should be able to find them using the search function. But to get 49+ in quant you need to have very good fundamentals. For the co-ordinate problems and probability problems spend a day going through basics. High school math book will do fine. Once you have that covered try solving problems. As you said OG are very simple. I heard GMAT challenges are very good. I haven't used them. As for DS it requires getting used to. I hope this helps.
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Re: Need advice in going from 690 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 11:53
Bear in mind the GMAT score has an established standard deviation of + or - 30 points from your actual level. If you want to get your quant above the 80th p.c., then that's great. But I'm not sure if you should be retaking the test if you're just looking to raise your score by 30 points.

And it's a little odd that a q45 is 77th p.c. and a q47 (which I managed) is 81st p.c. Scoring on the quant section appears to be getting more and more competitive every 3 months!
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Re: Need advice in going from 690 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2008, 18:12
to be honest, I don't think you were rejected for your score. Also you will attract the wrong kind of attention from spending so much energy towards something so small.
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Re: Need advice in going from 690 to 720+ [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2008, 11:08
Quote:
to be honest, I don't think you were rejected for your score. Also you will attract the wrong kind of attention from spending so much energy towards something so small.


I agree. If your score got you an interview, then that wasn't the factor that kept you out. Basically, if you meet the school's average, you are fine in terms of the GMAT.

You have to sell yourself and believe in yourself. If the current mentality you have is representative of how you came across in your interview, then I can see why it did not go very good.

Your post sounds like you are using your ethnicity as an excuse as to why you did not get in. Instead of looking at what you could do differently in the next interview, it is everyone else's fault, i.e. others from your country score higher, the interview was not fair.

Why focus on things you can not change?, i.e. your ethnicity. Focus on how you can improve yourself. That's all you have control over.

I'm not trying to be insensititve, just that if you go in with this negative perception, it will come out in the interview. Forget your nationality during the next interview. Your competition is the entire pool of applicants, not just those who apply from India.

I hope this doesn't come across as insensitive, I'm just being honest. I've taken part in interviews at my job. I can tell you that those who believe in themselves make quite an impression compared to those who deliver excuses. Remember, the GMAT does not measure motivation or persistance, at least directly. The interview, however, does. Focus on how you can demonstrate your motivation and determination.
Re: Need advice in going from 690 to 720+   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2008, 11:08
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