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The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT

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The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2012, 16:10
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Hello everyone.

I am starting to study for the GMAT today. My test is scheduled for early February. I've decided to start this thread as a way to keep myself accountable while I study.

A little bit of background:

I am in my final year of university, looking to apply to HBS and GSB.

Around June I started becoming interested in business schools and discovered the GMAT. I downloaded the GMAT Prep software and took a test to see how I would do, and scored a 720 (48Q 42V if I remember correctly). After this diagnostic test, I somewhat forgot about the GMAT, and the whole business school thing all together. In November, I had a conversation with my mentor regarding getting an MBA. At this time I took another GMAT Prep test, this time scoring a 760(50Q 44V).

My main weaknesses seem to be data sufficiency and sentence correction questions. Right now I am looking at the Official Guide to the GMAT as well as the GMAT800 from Kaplan. If anyone has any suggestions to improve the above categories I would love to hear them.

The goal is 800, wish me luck.
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2013, 20:51
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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. :-D

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. :-D
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 01:49
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souvik101990 wrote:
MacFauz wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
All the best.
I am curious as to why do you need the 800?
From what I have seen and heard the 800 is pretty cursed dude.


Haha.. What is it that you have seen and heard??


Well stanford rejected a couple of 800ers a couple of years back.
Also, NonYankee, a really cool guy who scored a 800 got dinged at HBS and Kellogg.
Too bad for all of them, especially for Non yankee because from his posts he wasnt even aiming for an incredibly high score.


Oh.... Then to top that off... Once you get to 800, it sticks to you for 5 years.. No way of getting rid of it...
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 09:47
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800 is not frowned at. In fact its a very special thing to achieve.
It just puts more pressure to round off a perfect application. This can sometimes work against you. But if you are not getting into a school with 800 and your existing profile, you won't get an admit with a 700-750 (and that same profile). Anything above 780 raises an alarm for the adcoms. They want to ensure that they are not admitting a wizkid/nerd who doesn't have a real world exp. You cannot substitute everything with the GMAT.

P.S: Non yankee is pretty awesome. I'm sure he'll land up in a great place.
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 09:54
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jumsumtak wrote:
800 is not frowned at. In fact its a very special thing to achieve.
It just puts more pressure to round off a perfect application. This can sometimes work against you. But if you are not getting into a school with 800 and your existing profile, you won't get an admit with a 700-750 (and that same profile). Anything above 780 raises an alarm for the adcoms. They want to ensure that they are not admitting a wizkid/nerd who doesn't have a real world exp. You cannot substitute everything with the GMAT.

P.S: Non yankee is pretty awesome. I'm sure he'll land up in a great place.


Yep I completely agree with NonYankee's awesomeness!
He has great stuffs lined up for him and I am very sure of that.
The dude is a GMAT natural!
I also think 800 is almost equal to 760 when it comes to what the adcom thinks!
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 17:32
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3 is a bit of an odd question. I can't say I've ever encountered a problem like it in GMAT prep or any real GMAT.

The plus sign in the top right corner indicates that any intersection of the table equals the sum of the column/row headings. For example, x= -3 since at the intersection of x and 4 is 1. Now that you know x, you can figure out the other letters eventually getting m=4 and n=1. m+n= 5

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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2013, 14:23
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Took my last GMAT Prep test today

scored a 760 (50Q 44V)

Still have no idea how the scoring works for this thing. 30/37 right for the Quant section and 36/41 right for the Verbal section. 5 wrong answers drops my score 7 points in verbal? And 7 wrong in Quant only drops my score 1 point. Maybe I shouldnt bother trying to figure out how the GMAT is scored, but it annoys me.

All 7 Quant questions I answered wrong were Data sufficiency, always have been a bit tougher for me (I like arriving at a definite answer :)
I think 4/5 Verbal questions that I answered incorrectly were sentence correction. I'm just going to drill sentence correction until test day. If I improve my sentence correction skills I really think I can achieve near 800.
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2013, 14:28
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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 :-)
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2013, 16:57
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Not much to report. Have been taking some of the Gmat club tests, scoring very well. Feeling super confident right now, I can almost taste the 800 score.

Test is tomorrow at noon.

Super excited.
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2013, 04:15
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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.

DUDE
You crazy?
Do you even see the discipline with which you have studied for the GMAT?
IT WOULD BE CRAZINESS TO RETAKE.
two reasons:
1. 730 is absolutely NOT below median. Maybe for 2+2 programs but it will not be a differentiator. For example the scenario in which the adcoms have 2 exactly similar profiles and they have no choice but to eliminate on the basis of the GMAT ---- THIS IS RIDICULOUS.
2. Your score is pretty balanced. V38 is a damn well score and people can kill for a 730.

If you try harder and get a 760-FINE! But do you really want a GMAT score to be the strongest part of yopur application? NO. You dont. Focus on cooler stuffs in your profile and you will be fine. If you do not get an admit, trust me it will NOT be because you were 30 points short!
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2012, 10:30
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2012, 10:40
souvik101990 wrote:
All the best.
I am curious as to why do you need the 800?
From what I have seen and heard the 800 is pretty cursed dude.

Thanks for the support. In reality I will be satisfied with less than 800, but I'm going to study as if 800 is the only option. Shoot for the moon...as they say.
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2012, 10:58
souvik101990 wrote:
All the best.
I am curious as to why do you need the 800?
From what I have seen and heard the 800 is pretty cursed dude.


Haha.. What is it that you have seen and heard??
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2012, 15:22
Decided to take a stab at a Kaplan test that I got for free. Ended up scoring a 680. I guess I really need to hit the books.

IR: 7
Quant: 85%
Verbal: 89%

Really odd that my quant score is lower than my verbal, considering I'm an Electrical Engineering student. Reviewed my mistakes and a lot were really stupid errors. I'll chalk them up to being brain dead after my 6 exams.

Top 3 Topics:
Arithmetic (100%)
Properties of Sets (100%)
Number Properties (100%)

Bottom 3 Topics:
Algebra (40%) (Cant believe this, really bad mistakes)
Reading Comprehension (46%)
Sentence Correction (54%)

Not really sure how I seem to have a low hit rate on my verbal questions but still landed in a higher percentile. Biggest take away from this for me is, make sure I'm in the right state of mind when writing the exam.
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 01:17
moneymango wrote:
Decided to take a stab at a Kaplan test that I got for free. Ended up scoring a 680. I guess I really need to hit the books.

IR: 7
Quant: 85%
Verbal: 89%

Really odd that my quant score is lower than my verbal, considering I'm an Electrical Engineering student. Reviewed my mistakes and a lot were really stupid errors. I'll chalk them up to being brain dead after my 6 exams.

Top 3 Topics:
Arithmetic (100%)
Properties of Sets (100%)
Number Properties (100%)

Bottom 3 Topics:
Algebra (40%) (Cant believe this, really bad mistakes)
Reading Comprehension (46%)
Sentence Correction (54%)

Not really sure how I seem to have a low hit rate on my verbal questions but still landed in a higher percentile. Biggest take away from this for me is, make sure I'm in the right state of mind when writing the exam.


More people tend to get a higher raw score on quants than on verbal. So even if the raw quant score is higher than the raw verbal score, there is a good chance that the quant percentile is lesser than the verbal percentile. Eg: For me, I got quant 49 which was the 83rd percentile whereas a verbal 42 got me into the 96th percentile..
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 01:39
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MacFauz wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
All the best.
I am curious as to why do you need the 800?
From what I have seen and heard the 800 is pretty cursed dude.


Haha.. What is it that you have seen and heard??


Well stanford rejected a couple of 800ers a couple of years back.
Also, NonYankee, a really cool guy who scored a 800 got dinged at HBS and Kellogg.
Too bad for all of them, especially for Non yankee because from his posts he wasnt even aiming for an incredibly high score.
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 07:23
souvik101990 wrote:
MacFauz wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
All the best.
I am curious as to why do you need the 800?
From what I have seen and heard the 800 is pretty cursed dude.


Haha.. What is it that you have seen and heard??


Well stanford rejected a couple of 800ers a couple of years back.
Also, NonYankee, a really cool guy who scored a 800 got dinged at HBS and Kellogg.
Too bad for all of them, especially for Non yankee because from his posts he wasnt even aiming for an incredibly high score.


Maybe some quant focused schools like Wharton, Booth would value his score more.
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 14:52
Well maybe I will be the one to break the curse.

Anyways, decided to practice some Quant questions today. Downloaded this package that a user posted of 700+ quant questions http://gmatclub.com/forum/198-level-700-questions-from-gmat-prep-i-141117.html.

I finished 30 questions in 48 minutes, for an average rate of 1 minute and 36 seconds per question.

25/30 correct (83.33%). My incorrect answers were for problems 3,4,7,9 and 25. Question 3 seems incomplete to me, and I believe the answers for 4,7,9 and 25 are wrong. If anyone could take a look at the questions and confirm my suspicions that would be amazing. Also, these questions felt pretty easy for supposedly 700+ question.
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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 16:39
Just took a quick look and I think those answers are correct.

In addition, since they are taken directly from GMATPrep and created by the actual makers of the GMAT the answers are more likely than not correct. Try doing a quick google search using the first few words of the questions and you are likely to find a lengthy thread discussing them. If all else fails, post the question in the quant section of gmatclub and discuss there.

If you are looking for more difficult material, try Bunuel's signature problems.

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Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 17:01
HImba88 wrote:
Just took a quick look and I think those answers are correct.

In addition, since they are taken directly from GMATPrep and created by the actual makers of the GMAT the answers are more likely than not correct. Try doing a quick google search using the first few words of the questions and you are likely to find a lengthy thread discussing them. If all else fails, post the question in the quant section of gmatclub and discuss there.

If you are looking for more difficult material, try Bunuel's signature problems.

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Ahh, the answers are correct, my mistake. I have looked over them again.

And can anyone explain question 3 to me? I have no idea what is going on there.
Re: The Start of my Journey to an 800 GMAT   [#permalink] 21 Dec 2012, 17:01
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