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# The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT

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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2012, 15:43
Went to the book store today and bought Kaplan's GMAT Premier and The Princeton Review 1037 Practice Questions for the New GMAT.

Decided to take a crack at the diagnostic test provided in the Princeton book (I should really start actually studying...I think I have an addiction to test taking).

IR: 8/12 Finished in 23 min 30 sec
Quant: 35/37 Finished in 54 min
- One Data Sufficiency (Geometry question) , one problem solving (prime numbers) incorrect.
Verbal: 28/41 Finished in 33 min 20 sec (should have really taken more time on this, wasnt looking at the clock. Need to work on time management)
- Five sentence correction, 5 critical reasoning, 3 reading comprehension.

A lot better showing on the quant section here. I think endurance was key problem, when I got to the verbal I wanted to push through because I was getting tired.

Any suggestions on how to increase my endurance? Should I just keep working on the tests and it will come? Or will it never come?
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27 Dec 2012, 15:31
Tried to get some studying done over christmas, but didnt accomplish an awful lot. Did review some sentence correction material.

Attempted another CAT from Kaplan, this time scoring a 730.

Quant: 92%
Verbal: 92%
IR : 6

Interestingly enough, I got murdered by both sections in terms of correct answers (59% correct Quant, 56% correct Verbal). The last half of the quant section was ridiculous, answered 4 out of the last 14 correct.

I also did not know that a calculator was allowed in the IR section, that will make the section a fair amount easier.

Worst areas for this test were:
Number Properties (29%)
Proportions(50%)
Properties of Sets (63%)

Sentence Correction: Pronouns(0%), Comparisons (33%)
Critical Reasoning (43%)
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 14:26
Well its been a bit of time since I've updated. I have been going back and forth between studying Quant, specifically geometry and combinations, and sentence correction. Recently I have taken two free tests offered by GMAT club, a 37 Quant question test and a 21 sentence correction test. Both tests the score was given as 98%/51, which doesnt seem entirely correct to me (wouldnt a 51 be 99%, since it is the highest score?).

Anyways, the Quant section I correctly answered 26/37 questions. The biggest problem I have for Quant is falling for little tricks, or making careless errors. This has always been a problem for me during my school exams. I noticed that for the questions where I made careless mistakes, I often completed the question in under 1 minute. I had 21 minutes remaining when I finished the last question, so I definitely need to work on time management.

The 21 sentence correction questions I completed 16/21 correctly. All the questions were labelled as 700 level, so I am fairly happy about that progress I have made with sentence correction.
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09 Jan 2013, 05:07
moneymango wrote:
Both tests the score was given as 98%/51, which doesnt seem entirely correct to me (wouldnt a 51 be 99%, since it is the highest score?).

nope.
A 99 percentile means 99% of the people who took the test were below your score. What happens if more than 1% of the people who took the test score the highest raw score (Q51) on quant?
to simplify, if 1000 people wrote the test, 25 of them scored a Q51 and you got a Q51 as well. Can you say 99% were below your score? (it would be 975/1000 * 100 or 97.5 percentile)
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09 Jan 2013, 19:54
jumsumtak wrote:
moneymango wrote:
Both tests the score was given as 98%/51, which doesnt seem entirely correct to me (wouldnt a 51 be 99%, since it is the highest score?).

nope.
A 99 percentile means 99% of the people who took the test were below your score. What happens if more than 1% of the people who took the test score the highest raw score (Q51) on quant?
to simplify, if 1000 people wrote the test, 25 of them scored a Q51 and you got a Q51 as well. Can you say 99% were below your score? (it would be 975/1000 or 97.5 percentile)

Yes my mistake, I thought that a 51 score in both Quant and Verbal corresponded to a 99th percentile, but after rechecking the website I see that a 51 is actually 98th percentile for Quant
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10 Jan 2013, 15:28
Attempted another Kaplan test. Was dissapointed in this one, felt I got crushed by the Quant when I was taking it, but the scores actually show that Verbal was the problem. Ended up with a 720.

8 on the IR.
92% Quant
87% Verbal

Still have to work on watching out for little tricks in the Quant section. Also my sentence correction was not so hot here, even though I had been killing most of my practice material.
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17 Jan 2013, 12:06
Two more CAT scores to report.

Free Manhattan GMAT.

700 (47Q 38V) I thought the scoring was really weird for this one. I had a 28/30 hit rate for the first 30 Quant questions, and the review material indicated that I was at a 51 Q. I then answered 4 questions incorrectly in the last 7, and my score dropped 4 points (25%) down to 47Q. From my experience with the Kaplan and GMAT Prep material (where I had gotten a significantly worse hit rate, but scored higher on the quant) this seemed odd. Also should note I wrote this exam after a 14 hour school day, and finished at 2am. Probably not the best time to be writing a GMAT.

GMAT Prep

750 (50Q 42V) Felt solid about this one. Interesting to note, the only verbal questions I got wrong were sentence correction. Guess I know what I need to work on.
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22 Jan 2013, 22:28
Ugh, with a little less than two weeks until my GMAT I'm getting a fairly annoyed.

Scored another 730 on a Kaplan CAT. 51Q 39V 7IR

I actually thought I was doing terrible in the Quant section because all the questions were really easy, hopefully I can carry that over to the real exam. I dont know what it is with the Verbal section. Lately all my practice problem sets I have been running at 90%+ hit rate on 700+ questions, but when it came down to it here I just blew it. Answered the last 7 questions wrong for the Verbal section, so I'm assuming stamina is a contributing factor.
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24 Jan 2013, 20:18
souvik101990 wrote:
Hey man
Its awesome to see you are doing so GREAT!
Yeah verbal scores are harder because V45 is the 99th percentile but Q51 is the 98th percentile so the scoring is understandable that way. You scored pretty awesome and your goal of 800 might just be true

Thanks a lot

I guess my questions is, how does the test differentiate between score of 44 to 51 (i.e 7 levels), when only 4 incorrect answers leaves you with a 44 score? Obviously then, some of the levels between 44 and 51 can be achieved with the same number of incorrect (or correct) answers. The first logical explanation is that questions are weighted differently. But what scenario would cause two people with the same number of incorrect answers to be receiving questions of different difficulty/weight (wouldn't this be the antithesis to "standardized"?). Another possible explanation is that the weight of a question varies depending on when you encounter it (i.e. Question 1 vs Question 10 vs Question 41). Once again this seems to be contrary to my intuitive definition of standardized. This scenario would result in two people gaining different scores for answering the same questions correct/incorrect, but at different positions in the question order. These two people have performed the exact same on the test but could potentially score differently.

Maybe I'm over-thinking this, but I blame the GMAT for that
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24 Jan 2013, 21:48
For fun I looked at question #3. I had no idea where to start, so I looked patterns. I was not sure if it would work, but it did. starting at second of four rows, 4/1/-5/m. The relationship between column 1 and 2 is [-3], and between 2 and 3 is [-6]. 3 and 4 is unkown. Row four. column 2 and 3 is [-6] again, so I went with it, and learned the relationship between columns 3 and 4 [+9]. This strategy produces the same results as the methodology previously given, but in a very different way. Hope it helps.
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25 Jan 2013, 18:26
moneymango wrote:
jumsumtak wrote:
moneymango wrote:
Both tests the score was given as 98%/51, which doesnt seem entirely correct to me (wouldnt a 51 be 99%, since it is the highest score?).

nope.
A 99 percentile means 99% of the people who took the test were below your score. What happens if more than 1% of the people who took the test score the highest raw score (Q51) on quant?
to simplify, if 1000 people wrote the test, 25 of them scored a Q51 and you got a Q51 as well. Can you say 99% were below your score? (it would be 975/1000 or 97.5 percentile)

Yes my mistake, I thought that a 51 score in both Quant and Verbal corresponded to a 99th percentile, but after rechecking the website I see that a 51 is actually 98th percentile for Quant

Exactly, Q51 is 98%tile however since its the highest possible score anyone can get it should be 99%tile. I can't fathom why the score range is from 1 to 60 when NO ONE gets a Q51+? Just weird contradiction
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25 Jan 2013, 19:41
hey dentobizz,
I agree it is quite frustrating, a interesting discussion on this here http://www.beatthegmat.com/what-are-the ... tml#559561
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27 Jan 2013, 15:30
GMATNinja wrote:
Good work on the practice tests, moneymango! And yes, you're definitely overthinking the GMAT scoring algorithm... but that can be kind of fun, so let me help you overthink.

You're absolutely right: the same (very small) number of errors can lead to a variety of different scores on the verbal section. I've seen GMATPrep verbal tests with exactly one error that resulted in scores of 45, 46, 47, and 48. So getting 40 out of 41 correct can be a fairly wide range of scores. Crazy, right?

As random as it may seem, the scoring oddities are a byproduct of the adaptive algorithm. For example, question #5 is likely to be substantially easier than question #41, if we assume that you got everything else right. At question #5, you've only gotten four questions right, so you're not necessarily going to see the toughest question in the bank--and if you miss it, the scoring system will punish you more than it would if you only missed (the presumably very difficult) question #41.

So all else being equal, you'll lose more points for missing questions early in the section than later in the section. It doesn't mean that the guy who only misses question #5 is performing as well as the guy who misses only question #41, since the two test-takers are likely to see a somewhat different set of questions. For the first guy, question #6 won't necessarily be quite as hard as the second guy's version of question #6, and the scores will be slightly different as a result. So the placement of your misses matters, even if you're doing really really well.

I hope that made some sense. In any case, you seem to be on track, and if you get everything right, you won't have to worry about the GMAT scoring system at all.

Haha, thats the plan. Might as well avoid the headache and just get 800.

Anyways, did a retake of a GMAT prep test

770 (49Q 47V)

Ended up doing the Quant in two portions. Started the test yesterday morning when my friends called me and I went rock climbing for the day and to the bar for the night. Finished the test this morning. Some repeats, although I think I got most of the repeats wrong actually (remembered my old wrong answers and not the correct ones). Finished the Quant in 53 minutes and the Verbal in 33 minutes. Also only answered 3 questions incorrectly on the verbal section (2 of which were repeats ). Feeling pretty strong right now. Need a 30 point increase in 6 days!!
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29 Jan 2013, 18:00
Took my last Kaplan test today.

720 92%Q 95%V (Equivalent to a 50Q, 41-42V)

Googled the split, and most people reporting a split like this scored 740-760. What gives?

Also previous Kaplan scores of 720 92%Q 87%V, 730 92%Q 92%V make no sense when compared to this last score.
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01 Feb 2013, 23:41
Good luck with your test. Get plenty of sleep. Tomorrow, go in there and crush that test!
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02 Feb 2013, 10:33
Samwong wrote:
Good luck with your test. Get plenty of sleep. Tomorrow, go in there and crush that test!

Thanks

Off to the test center now
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02 Feb 2013, 10:35
You will ace in your verbal part. Very sure about it. Ace the quant too and that 800 is yours
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02 Feb 2013, 14:32
almost certain you will do very very well. All the best!
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02 Feb 2013, 16:01
Well, I "failed". Super disappointed.

730 (50Q 38V)

I felt amazing too, breezed through the Quant section and thought I could have potentially gotten every answer correct. Verbal was a bit tougher, 6-7 out of the first 10 questions were sentence correction (my weakness), 3 of which I was unsure of. I assume that my Verbal was tanked by the first 10 questions, because I was 100% confident in every single RC and CR question (and was hitting 100% on these for the previous week). Even with a couple rough SC questions, I felt really good about my chances of being in the 750-780 range.

Ugh, I dont know whether I should retake or not. 730 is below the median for 2+2 and just average at GSB. I really wanted that 760+ to help stand out.
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02 Feb 2013, 16:26
moneymango wrote:
Well, I "failed". Super disappointed.

730 (50Q 38V)

I felt amazing too, breezed through the Quant section and thought I could have potentially gotten every answer correct. Verbal was a bit tougher, 6-7 out of the first 10 questions were sentence correction (my weakness), 3 of which I was unsure of. I assume that my Verbal was tanked by the first 10 questions, because I was 100% confident in every single RC and CR question (and was hitting 100% on these for the previous week). Even with a couple rough SC questions, I felt really good about my chances of being in the 750-780 range.

Ugh, I dont know whether I should retake or not. 730 is below the median for 2+2 and just average at GSB. I really wanted that 760+ to help stand out.

Congrats! on the 730. Should you retake? It depends on the program and school a V38 can make your overall score a bit lopsided, but I am not sure it that can be a hurdle for the 2+2 program, do ask admissions experts specifically for 2+2 prog @ Stanford.

As far as first ten questions are concerned they are definitely important but I have scored a V40 and V42 in gmatprep mocks in spite of getting 4-5 questions incorrect among the first 10 questions. The real exam stars with questions of medium difficulty (arnd 600-650) , given your ability I highly doubt you would have messed up on the early ones (may be you got a 2-3 SC wrong since its your weak area) but you would have had plenty of time to recover in the next 31 questions.
So IMO a V38 means to did some mistakes later on in the CR or RC as well.
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